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Travel agencies report increase in bookings for summer holidays
The Belgian travel sector is seeing an increase in bookings, especially for the upcoming summer holidays. The number of bookings recorded at some agencies during January even exceeded those before the pandemic.
Many countries have started easing their health restrictions related to the coronavirus, which is one explanation for the increase in bookings.
"For two years, there was a feeling of deprivation,” a spokesperson for travel agency TUI. “Today, there is the feeling that people have a huge need to travel. A lot of people have put money aside in the last two years. We have an average holiday budget that is still quite large. It is around €1,330 per person for holidays by plane."
When it comes to chosen destinations, Europe remains poplar. TUI observes a strong interest in Spain, which makes up 35% of its air bookings, and the Greek islands with 25%. In addition, Turkey made a spectacular breakthrough, with bookings up 20% compared to 2019. This is explained in particular by the rise in popularity of all-inclusive offers available in resorts across the country.
Faced with this increase in bookings, operators recommend people to secure their travel plans way in advance. Supply is still too low compared to demand. "As of today, we still have not recovered the normal capacity in terms of flights,” the TUI spokesperson said. “Not all airlines are running at full capacity yet. There are some hotels that have closed their doors. Others are slow to reopen. This also applies to the capacity of rental cars. The rental companies are out of stock."
One holiday destination that remains mostly off-limits is Asia. Several countries such as Japan have not yet reopened their borders.