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Monday 29 June 2020
by Angela Hankey

Thinking about holidays? Update from Travel Counsellor Fiona Graham

The world is opening up again! The C word hit travel hard. In March, the world slowly shut down, borders closed, FCO advice changed and we were told to get home to the safety of our own homes (not even that holiday home in Anglesey). At first, it seemed surreal and plans were still being made for May half term travel and then the school Summer holidays, but as guidance tightened and people were told to self isolate, socially distance, clap for the NHS and daily government updates on what we can and can’t do, everything halted. With all but essential travel, my focus was on helping customers get home and re-booking customers due to travel imminently. My customers have really seen the value of booking with an agent who is on the end of the phone and sorts out everything on their behalf.

As a tour operator, I can package holidays to meet my customer requirements and therefore have been in control of each booking and been able to refund more quickly where we hold the money, or re-book to a future date. At Travel Counsellors, we were voted no.1 in the Money Saving Expert survey, for our handling of refunds by customers and the confidence people have had in us has grown as a result.

As restrictions are starting to ease, our suppliers are giving us reassurance of their health and safety measures so our customers can feel safe when they travel and the airlines and airports will have rigorous procedures in place.

Summer bookings are picking up and for those hopeful of FCO advice lifting and corridors being in place with Greece, Spain and Cyprus - the top hot spots. UK breaks are being given a welcome boost as a lot of travellers have resigned themselves to a staycation. For the more adventurous, the Maldives and Mauritius have seen a spike in bookings and into 2021, Florida, the US and Caribbean are always favourites. Customers are also showing signs of enjoying the less traditional package holiday, visiting places more remote, less crowded and are committed to more sustainable travel.

There are still some unanswered questions and we are waiting for further government guidance so we know customers can travel to other countries without any restrictions but I am keeping up to date with all the guidance so I can give my customers the most updated information before they book.

I fortunately had diversified before lockdown and trained in corporate travel so I will be able to offer both leisure and business travel to my customers. With the safety measures in place and reassurance we can give to our customers they can travel safely, I am sure travel will once again boom and hopefully those businesses that have suffered this year will recover and get our support to boost the UK and worldwide tourism industry. Should you have any business or leisure travel requirements or know someone who does, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Fiona Graham – Travel Counsellors

Phone: 01925 950033 Email : fiona.graham@travelcounsellors.com