Economy

Few people book holidays, the travel industry hopes for next year

Because if the long-awaited corona vaccines and rapid tests are available at airports, things can go fast, according to Frank Oostdam, CEO of the ANVR industry association. “We notice from the search behavior on sites that many people are already inquiring about vacations.” This does not lead to many bookings yet.

Last minute

The ANVR expects that there will be little traveling at the beginning of next year, but as soon as there is more clarity people will start booking. “It will probably be a real last-minute year”, Oostdam thinks.

He therefore advises travel organizations to be careful with the purchase of rooms. “They can best assume about 50 percent of a normal year.”

Travel organizer Corendon is already sparingly booked again. “We notice that our customers cannot wait to go on holiday again,” says director-owner Atilay Uslu.

In order to remove further financial barriers for people, the tour operator has decided to offer voucher-free summer vacations. Should Corendon still have to cancel trips, the customer will receive his money back within two weeks.

Canary and Caribbean Islands

Going on vacation is not completely impossible now. The Canary Islands are another yellow spot on the world map. But because Prime Minister Mark Rutte previously gave Dutch people an ‘urgent’ negative travel advice for trips abroad until mid-January, in practice hardly any people fly to the Spanish archipelago.

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are not covered by the general negative travel advice of the Prime Minister and are therefore popular, for example to celebrate Christmas, the ANVR notes. This does not apply to very large numbers, according to Oostdam. This is partly due to the local corona rules. For the time being, only 20,000 international tourists per month are admitted to Curaçao.

Parent company Beversport in dire straits

The fact that there is much less travel is making sense at AS Adventures, the parent company of Beversport. The financial need is so great that negotiations are taking place with creditors, CEO Frederic Hufkens tells Het Financieele Dagblad.

Customers are staying away en masse this year due to store closures, but also because they travel less and therefore need less windbreakers, mountain boots and ski equipment. “Covid will hit us until 2021, because the second lockdown will thwart the winter sports season”, says Hufkens. Turnover to date amounts to 360 million euros in 2020, more than 22 percent less than in the same period last year.

AS Adventure has nearly 200 stores in the Benelux, France and England. The Netherlands has 54 Bever stores. The group employs 3,000 people.

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