Holiday bookings surge with Spain as a top destination, after UK’s plans to relax lockdown

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International holiday bookings surged by as much as 600% after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans on Monday to gradually relax England’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope for the summer. Current restrictions on international travel would remain in place at least until 17 May, Johnson’s government stated. Authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which are responsible for their own public health, will also ease restrictions over the coming months.

EasyJet said that flight bookings from the UK jumped 337% and holiday bookings surged by 630% week on week after the government indicated that travel could start again from mid-May. Holiday company TUI also said that its bookings surged 500%, with the holiday and budget airline group Jet2 stating that its bookings were up by 600%.

Figures release at the start of February showed that the number of foreign tourists who visited Spain during 2020 fell by over 80% to 19 million, the lowest figure since 1969, with the Covid-19 pandemic devastating one of the country’s key industries.

Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019, receiving 83…

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