Online Travel Agent ‘On The Beach’ Pulls All Its Summer Holidays due to uncertainty over travel.
ONE of Britain’s largest online holiday sales portals ‘On The Beach’ has announced that it is halting all sales of summer holidays until at least September, due to the continued uncertainly surrounding travel, with Portugal, one of the UK’s ‘green list’ countries already announcing on Thursday that they are extending their ‘state of calamity’ until May 30.
Simon Cooper, the firm’s chief executive, told the BBC, “There’s nothing we want more than to be able to send customers on holiday, but with the current number of unknowns, we don’t think that now is the right time for customers to book new holidays departing in the next few months.”
Mr Cooper added he believes that even if ‘On The Beach’ went ahead and sold holidays, which then had to be cancelled, its profits risked being outweighed by “administrative costs and loss of goodwill,” telling the BBC that many would-be holidaymakers have been “jaded” by the bad experience of their 2020 holidays, when many had booked only to have them cancelled due to the shifting travel restrictions.
He stressed their online travel agent would not be offering foreign holidays to “green list” countries because “it is very likely that we will see regular fluctuations in destinations’ traffic light classifications.”
He continued, “Given this, there is too much uncertainty for us to take new bookings with confidence that they will go ahead, or for us to know the potential inconvenience or incremental costs that customers might experience or incur.”
Adding, “Unlike many of our competitors, we have no interest in selling holidays that are unlikely to happen, as our business model enables us to put customers first, rather than needing to get cash in the door to contribute to high fixed costs, and offering refunds in the form of a voucher when holidays get cancelled,” as reported by bbc.com.
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