With the emergence of the new Omicron Covid variant, Tui warns of winter holiday bookings slowing down.
Holiday giant Tui has warned that holiday bookings for winter are slowing down due to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Despite this, bookings for next summer are expected to be close to reaching pre-pandemic levels.
On Tuesday, the UK implemented new travel rules to prevent the spread of the variant, including pre-departure tests for people arriving in the UK. 11 African countries have also been put on the red list for travel.
On Monday, December 6, the travel industry warned that these changes would be a “hammer blow” and that livelihoods would be “devastated.”
Tui said: “The increased media coverage of rising incident rates and the emergence of new Omicron variant has weakened this positive momentum, particularly for winter.”
It also said that winter bookings were getting back to pre-pandemic levels before “recent news coverage” about the new variant and that a quarter of Tui holidays that were booked for this month have been postponed over the past week.
After so much uncertainty over the last couple of years for the travel industry, businesses are hoping for a strong summer 2022, however, the new variant has caused fear for consumers – especially with the new travel rules coming into force.
Tui chief executive Friedrich Joussen said that uncertainty around travel restrictions was “annoying.”
“Overnight you get new rules.”
“You have gone on vacation thinking nothing can happen, then tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people have new rules and that is difficult.”
He has called on the government to give more notice to the travel industry with regard to upcoming rule changes.
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