Cost of overseas vacations expected to rise due to pent-up demand

The cost of overseas vacations is expected to skyrocket next year with pent-up demand and a dramatic drop in the number of flights to and from Ireland.

Prices are unlikely to increase until next spring, however, with only a tentative pick-up in bookings expected in the coming weeks, according to the leisure travel industry, which is starting to recover from the worst crisis in its history.

Group vacation company Travel Department has been running long and short-haul guided tours outside of Ireland for over 25 years, and it has organized its first overseas vacation since the pandemic began in the middle of last month, bringing a group to Lake Garda in Italy.

According to its sales manager, Yvonne Boyle, while there has been a slight increase in bookings, “there are customers who are still nervous”.

She said trends suggest short-haul vacations will recover faster than long-haul. “Right now, Europe is where it is with reservations,” she said. “We also have people who book last minute, which would not be normal for our business, and who are looking to travel to prime destinations closer to home, such as Iceland.”

She said Christmas markets in Germany as well as Lake Garda, Tuscany and the Algarve have turned out to be the most popular destinations since travel restrictions were relaxed and she also said there were a “strong demand” for 2022.

Last minute reservations

Chairman of the Irish Travel Agents Association and founder of online travel agency Click & Go, Paul Hackett, said there had been a pick-up in bookings since last month, with around 80% of those leaving were gone in a few weeks.

“It’s all about last minute bookings now,” he said. “And we’re seeing the start of a recovery, but it’s not going to be about flipping a switch.”

Mr. Hackett predicts that “supply issues are going to be a problem next year.” “The roads will not be there and the prices will be considerably higher because the airlines will want their money back. Demand will be exceptional in 2022, particularly in all European markets, ”he predicted.

Tour America director of operations Deirdre Maher has been optimistic about the Biden administration’s decision in the United States to lift its travel ban covering the EU from November.

“When the announcement was made on Monday, the phones turned on, as did all of our social media accounts and email. We were barely able to answer calls and there has been a mix of people changing reservations for vacations that had to be canceled in 2020 and 2021 for next year. “

She said there was a lot of interest in the pre-Christmas New York shopping vacation, with families delaying booking trips to once popular destinations such as Orlando until next year. “The flight capacity is a bit reduced, but I think we’ll see the routes come back online,” she said. “I think it will take a few years to go back to any kind of pre-Covid level.”

Capacity

Eoghan O’Meara Walsh from the Confederation of Irish Tourism Industry also points to the decline in the number of routes to and from Ireland and their frequency. Mr O’Meara Walsh called on the government to “encourage airlines to increase their capacity to allow more tourists to come to Ireland”.

Travel and aviation writer Eoghan Corry said airlines “would look very cautiously until February or March next year and see what forward bookings look like.”

He added that while the price of flights is expected to increase slightly in 2022, ground costs in popular vacation destinations could climb up to 20% next year, which would see the price of many hotels and lodges. vacation options are increasing dramatically.

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