129 million trips lost to Covid

The collapse of UK travel

The relaxation of pre-departure tests for fully-vaccinated travellers is welcome. However, the remaining rules are set to cost the travel industry and holidaymakers. This is in both trips and hard-earned cash.

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New analysis by travel extras company Holiday Extras shows that 129 million trips have been lost to the pandemic. Out of this, 45 million holidays were lost to the bureaucracy and restrictive travel rules made by the government.

A financial hit to the travel industry

Those 129 million trips would have been worth £100bn to the travel industry and therefore the wider economy. The 45 million trips lost to travel rules is worth £35bn.

As of March 2020, Holiday Extras surveyed 12,000 UK holidaymakers about whether they plan to fly. They also asked what is preventing travellers from taking a trip overseas.

Confusion caused by ever-changing rules

At the start of the pandemic, the reality of lockdown, closed borders and uncertainty around the virus prevented all but the most essential trips.

Since the end of 2021, Holiday Extras’ market research revealed that British holidaymakers are put off travelling by unpredictable changes to travel rules than by the virus itself.

When last polled in September and December, over half (59%) of respondents said they were deterred from travelling by ever-changing government rules. This is three times as many as the 20% being put off by the virus itself.

Matthew Pack, Group CEO of Holiday Extras, commented:

“Since the start of the pandemic, our business alone has lost 11 million bookings to the pandemic. More than three million of those were people put off travelling by the unpredictable changes to travel rules.

People can’t keep giving up their holidays, and travel companies can’t keep losing money, to travel rules that seem to change every day but achieve nothing. The government needs to support the industry and make travel as simple as possible.”