● Get ready for Blue Monday on January 20, 2022 and, we trust, a crush of holiday bookings by British travelers, with many of the purchases designated for international travel.
First, an explanation of the concept from Simplexity Travel, a well-known bespoke travel management company: “The third Monday in January is a date often touted as harboring particularly low spirits in the UK, as Christmas spending, short days and cold temperatures dent British cheer. But the time is also known as an important yearly turning point in the travel industry. The idea is that the third week of January marks the point when fed up holiday-makers have had enough of the UK’s cold weather and start booking spring and summer vacations.”
Of course, consumers are ready and willing to make their holiday plans for 2022 any time between now and the hot August days of Florida. But it is “Blue Monday” to which Brits can relate. And now that the United States is telling Great Britain to “give me your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” by allowing vaccinated travelers to visit the United States, unbridled optimism seems to be the subject, predicate and object of Brits who’ve missed their Orlando (or elsewhere in the USA) holiday in 2020 and 2021.
News media channels online, over radio and on television are reporting huge spikes in inquiries about, or bookings for, international travel and travel to the United States.
And, deprived of their traditional summer holiday because of the COVID-19 virus for the past 20 months or so, British holiday makers are digging even deeper and spending more on their upcoming 2022 holiday.
According to research from Forbes Advisor, nearly 40 percent of Britons are planning luxury holidays next year. And in order to cover costs, they or reaching into their savings and spending £2,000-£3,000 ($2,7300-$4,100) per person, the research says. Meanwhile, it tells us that the cost of international holidays has increased by 27 percent since 2018. Some other findings follow:
—A long-haul trip for two will cost holidaymakers £2,396 ($3,276) this year, while figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show it cost £1,894 ($2,590) three years ago.
—The research by Forbes Advisor – a price comparison and financial guidance platform —The US was the most popular destination for Brits’ “dream holiday,” with 20 percent saying they would want to head over the Atlantic for 2022.
—The Caribbean was in second place, followed by Canada, Dubai, Maldives, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, China and South America.
—More than a third (35 percent) said they would use “long-term savings or investments” while 32 percent indicated that they would fall back on funds “saved by not going on holiday since pre-pandemic.”
—Asked what type of “dream holiday” they were planning to book, nearly two-fifths of respondents (38 percent) selected “luxury” and almost a third (30 percent) chose beach holidays.
—“Safari/wildlife” holidays were the third most selected option, with 20 percent of Brits choosing this type of trip.
● Meanwhile, a report from Abta (formerly the Association of British Travel Agencies) said that
seven in 10 travel companies plan redundancies after furlough ends this month. As many travel companies over jubilant over the news that travel by most Brits to the U.S. will be possible in early November, the figures released by Abta provide a sobering counterpoint to the news that travel to the USA will launch in another month or so. Some of those numbers follow:
—According to Abta’s research, which was based on a survey of Abta’s 4,300 members, summer 2021 bookings were 83 percent down on 2019.
—Almost half of travel companies reported no increase in 2021 bookings compared to last year, despite vaccine rollout.
—58 percent of bookings with departure dates in July or August this year had to be postponed or cancelled.
In the meantime, the government is due to review the requirements for international travel by October 1 and furlough is to end tomorrow, September 30.