Sheffield coach operator sees rise in holiday bookings – with Scotland the most popular destination so far
A travel company in Sheffield says that its bookings are ‘more frequent’ than last year as a result of the government’s roadmap plan – with travellers booking Scotland for a quick getaway.
Maxfield’s Travel in Aston has had a surge in bookings since the Prime Minister’s announcement, which is the light at the end of the tunnel for the travel and tourism industry.
They have had an abundance of bookings for Scotland which seems to be the most popular destination for people wanting a quick getaway this year.
According to the firm, their Scottish Railway trip, which is the most expensive in the brochure, has already had 40 bookings and another trip to Aberfoyle has attracted over 30 people.
Currently, all non-essential journeys are banned due to lockdown restrictions and breaks in the UK are not permitted before April 12.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s road map for easing coronavirus restrictions states that hotels can reopen, and foreign travel will be allowed from May 17 at the earliest.
A review into international travel is expected to be published by The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce on April 12.
Ben Maxfield, senior travel consultant at Maxfield’s Travel, said: “It’s going really well, we’re really pleased, it’s certainly a lot easier, and the bookings are a lot more frequent than last year.
“There is a strong focus on July, August, September and a really big focus on Christmas; our customers are excited about booking at Christmas.”
He added: “A holiday is to be looked forward to; a holiday is not something to be nervous about. If you’re feeling nervous, why don’t you wait a couple of months and see how you feel.
“On the flip side there are some people in their 70's and 80's that have had their vaccination, and they are like, I’m good to go, get me out of this house.
“I think there are some other people, perhaps in their 40's and 50's that are thinking we’ll probably have our vaccination before July; we want to go on holiday.”
Speaking about covid safety measures, Ben said that nobody in the industry had received any advice from the government since March last year, leaving them to take decisions about passengers safety into their own hands.
“As a coaching industry, we all took it on board, personally not through guidance, that we socially distanced on our coaches. So rather than having 49 people on a coach we sent 25 people on a coach.”
Last year, coach operators decided to take action after they were told by Transport Minister for Roads, Baroness Vere, that no extra help would be given to their industry.
Ben added: “We see April, May, June as being kept very stringent, we are keeping social distancing in place etc. I think that masks are going to be mandatory on public transport until the end of the year. We will keep whatever is mandatory in place; however, we are going to have to start filling our coaches as normal from June; otherwise, we might as well have closed our doors.”