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Britons’ appetite to travel abroad drops with coronavirus fears

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New survey, commissioned by Timetastic.co.uk, of 2002 full-time workers in the UK has shown most have no interest in traveling overseas for the foreseeable future, and instead favour "staycations". 73% of Brits likely to travel within UK after coronavirus.

The coronavirus pandemic will have lasting effects on the travel industry, as new research finds that 73% of Britονs will choose to holiday within the UK, even after Coronavirus travel restrictions have been lifted.

Popular holiday destinations like Spain, Italy, and the USA will see a dip in demand, according to data from a survey carried out by timetastic.co.uk. Out of the 2002 people surveyed, 58% said they were unlikely to choose to travel to the USA in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus, 53% were unlikely to visit Italy, and 43% of people said they’d avoid Spain. 82% of those surveyed were unlikely to choose China as a travel destination.

In total, just 19% of people said they would be travelling abroad for their first holiday after travel restrictions are eased, indicating that ‘staycations’ will be a more popular choice while the pandemic lingers in the public memory. As people seek an escape from the boredom of lockdown, here in the UK, experts are predicting a boom in the domestic tourism market[2] as the staycation becomes a popular and sensible choice.

Despite a generally negative outlook on post-coronavirus holidays, some of the survey respondents were optimistic about when overseas travel restrictions will be lifted. 54% of respondents believe they’ll be able to resume international travel before the end of 2020, with 11% thinking foreign travel restrictions will lift in August 2020, 16% of people in September 2020, and 12% in October 2020.

However, looking at the facts, the future of holidaying is still bleak for Brits. Currently, anyone travelling back into the UK is faced with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, with no end date for this policy in place. Additionally, airlines have begun to announce their approach to starting up again, and the news isn’t great for anyone expecting to jet off care-free in summer.

EasyJet only has plans to resume one international route for now – Gatwick to Nice – while Ryanair will operate at 40% capacity to maintain social distancing and British Airways doesn’t expect to be at full capacity until 2023.

Gary Bury, CEO of Timetastic said: "Clearly, the general public is aware that holidaying isn’t going to go straight back to what it was before the pandemic. The increased interest in ‘staycations’ is of note, as it might indicate that people are still keen to use up their annual leave on a vacation whether they can travel abroad or not.

While the economy could certainly do with the boost of local tourism, employees should know that the government’s holiday rollover scheme means that now up to 4 weeks of holiday can be rolled over into 2021."

Although the immediate prospects for the travel industry are poor, 24% of those surveyed by Timetastic said that they will spend the same amount of money on their first holiday after the virus as they would have done beforehand, while 11% of people said that they would book multiple trips to make up for lost time.

That means that, as long as it can survive the ongoing lockdown, the travel industry should be able to bounce back after restrictions are lifted.

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