British holidaymakers are planning staycations in the UK this year because foreign trips are “too risky” and they would rather spend more in 2021, according to a travel firm.
Tourism operator Kuoni said it has seen a “clear upturn” in demand for holidays next year, with the Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, Spain and India high on the wish list for many customers.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advises against non-essential overseas travel, while a 14-day quarantine policy for international arrivals came into force on Monday.
Numerous airlines including Ryanair and easyJet have condemned the Government’s plan, saying it will decimate demand for foreign trips this year. Boris Johnson has said he will review the policy in three weeks.
Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones said: “Bookings for the Maldives are outperforming every other destination we sell around the world, currently accounting for 56 per cent of bookings for 2021.
“The Maldives has always been our best seller but it’s soaring even further ahead right now.
“Whilst there is still so much uncertainty around plans to open borders, the 14-day quarantine and social distancing, people are telling us that they’d rather plan ahead for next year and save to make the trip an extra special one, upgrading what they’d normally do.
“It’s clear from the conversations we’re having with customers and booking patterns that many people will opt to stay closer to home within the UK this year, as they see overseas travel in the near future as being too risky.”
UK campsites are experiencing a surge in bookings, while Auto Trader recently said interest in online adverts for caravans was up nearly a fifth compared with the same time last year.
Campsites in the UK currently remain closed but hopes have been raised about the possibility of the UK getting the chance for a summer break.
The prime minister laid out a proposed roadmap out of lockdown in May, which suggested that some parts of the hospitality industry could reopen on July 4, which could pave the way for hotels and holiday parks to reopen subject to social distancing measures.
Campsite booking website Cool Camping said it recorded a five-fold increase in the number of bookings during the week after Boris Johnson’s announcement about easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions on May 10 compared with the previous seven-day period.
James Warner Smith, marketing manager for Cool Camping, said: “The demand for camping is clearly there, and with foreign holidays on the backburner for the time being, people appear to be looking closer to home for their holidays this year.
“We also expect to see a lot more first-time campers in 2020. City breaks may look very different if galleries, museums and leisure facilities face restrictions, and consumers are, naturally, looking to the countryside when they plan their breaks.
“With the usual holidays for some people seeming less accessible or appealing, we expect many will try camping for the very first time.”
Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: