Hays Travel staff 'primed ready' for bookings as Government looks at traffic light system for destinations
Hays Travel shops are getting set to open their doors to holidaymakers once again as the Government looks to launch a traffic light system to guide customers.
Company owner Dame Irene Hays has said the travel industry is braced for a comeback following the announcements on booking holidays, with the firm’s shops in England to reopen as the lockdown eases on Monday, April 12.
Grant Schapps, Secretary of State for Transport, yesterday, Friday, April 9, announced a “framework” for the resumption of overseas leisure travel, which included requiring all arrivals to take pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus tests, with a review aimed at looking to “drive down the costs” of the checks.
He said: “This is the probably the first time I can say I’m not advising people not to book to go away this summer - instead I’m saying in two or three weeks you’ll have that green list of countries, amber and red, and people are going to be able to make their own decisions.”
Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent, has its head office in Sunderland’s Keel Square.
Dame Irene said: “We are more optimistic now than we’ve ever been that people who want to travel safely can book holidays again as the whole country eases out of lockdown.
“The phones are ringing now and the shops are ready to open on Monday.
"Numbers of bookings at the moment are nothing like normal of course, but where there are fantastic offers – such as the fabulous round Britain cruises that are coming on stream at the minute – they’re being snapped up.
“What’s different is that more people are using a travel agent so that they get the best advice and support if things change, and the majority of customers are making plans for booking for late 2021 and 2022, taking advantage of guarantees like our Peace of Mind Guarantee and insurance to cover all eventualities.
“Our staff are really looking forward to being back in their branches and meeting customers again albeit socially distanced.
"We’ll also continue to meet virtually – whatever is best for them.
“We will be monitoring the government advice closely and our staff are primed and ready to be first with the green light holidays for their customers.”