It has been just over a month since the UK started the roll out of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was first approved for use in the United Kingdom. We had been waiting for almost a year, and for many it felt like the news we thought would never come. The vaccine was found to be 95% effective after 2 doses, with over 50% of protection coming just 12 days after a first dose.
Flash forwards a matter of weeks, and there are now 3 vaccines approved with the additional approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Moderna vaccine. These advances have rapidly increased the speed of vaccine distribution. Especially as the Oxford vaccine is much easier to store and transport than its earlier counter- part.
As of the 15th of January, around 1/3 of the UKs over 80s have now been vaccinated. Vaccine centres are popping up all over the country, from super centres, such as the one established at Manchester City's Etihad Campus, to vaccines now becoming available in local pharmacies.
All of this means that the future is looking very positive for a soon to be vaccinated Britain. There is hope in the air. And the effects of this new hope are already being felt up and down the country.
Now, in a trend that people might not have expected, it seems that it is the over 50’s who are leading the way with the renewed hope for overseas travel.
Earlier in the pandemic, travel analysts coined the phrase ‘Revenge Travel’. Ok, so this isn’t maybe quite as dramatic as it sounds. But the basic idea is less about pay back and more about people wanting to make up for lost time. People have been trapped in their homes, and indeed native countries for far too long, and now they want to get out and see the world.
Travel operators are already reporting, just one month into the national vaccination, that ‘Revenge Travel’ has already started to indeed take hold. Last week, Tui reported that over 50s are currently accounting for 50% of their new bookings, while National Express have stated that their coach holiday business (which predominantly caters for an older audience) has seen bookings almost triple compared to this time last year.
Jit Desai, of National Express stated
“We launched the brochure for spring-summer 2021 just this weekend gone, and on Monday we took a week's worth of bookings in a day … What the vaccine does is give certainty and confidence.
That then allows the customer and ourselves the ability to plan ahead".
Other big trends expected to take over from summer 2021 include outdoors, and active travel. So, we think our enormous range of active cycling holidays, and endless opportunities to discover the glorious landscapes of the European countryside could be the hot ticket for Summer, Autumn, or even Winter sun in 2021.
While we still need to follow social distancing, and government COVID- 19 guidelines now is certainly still a time for caution; perhaps we can exercise some cautious optimism. The best thing about booking with a genuine, certified tour operator, is that your booking is protected by industry governing bodies such as ABTA. That means your money is safe, even if the worst should happen. For more information on how you can Book with Confidence when you book your Freewheel Holiday, please see below.