Tour operator failing to provide flexibility to customers could lose £ 53bn | Travel News | To travel

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International travel has again been disrupted. The emergence of the new Omicron Covid variant has seen countries around the world react by closing borders.

With more and more travel restrictions everywhere, vacationers are once again unsure of their travel plans.

That’s why transparent and flexible travel agency policies have never been more important.

Trustly commissioned a Censuswide survey of UK consumers and found that 70% of Britons perceive instant refunds as the most important factor when their trip is canceled or changed.

The main considerations for holidaymakers were transparent and flexible travel booking policies, with 84% of Britons looking for transparency and 80% for flexibility.

Companies that fail to repay on time are expected to lose £ 53bn over the next 12 months.

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The results come as the government changed conditions for returning to the UK after a holiday abroad.

Vacationers are now required to take a PCR test and self-isolate while awaiting results.

The new rule put a damper on holidays for many Britons.

Testing company CovidTestingDirect.com emailed its customers to say, “We are aware of some vendors who have refused to allow customers to upgrade their tests, but expect them to customers pay full price for a day 2 PCR test.

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“Indeed, some customers have already reported that a number of suppliers have increased their prices since the new rule came into effect, which seems rather opportunistic in the circumstances.

“We fully appreciate how confusing this will be for our customers. “

The company offers its customers the option of switching from lateral flow testing to PCR and paying only the difference.

On Twitter, Denis Scharrer responded to Grant Shapps’ announcement of the need for PCR testing, saying: “What if you regulate the prices of PCR testing for travelers… it’s an absolute scandal that you let it make a profit. in large scale.

Before the pandemic, price was the main factor when booking travel.

Lower cost attracted vacationers before Covid, but it’s no longer the main thing Britons look at when booking vacations.

With the world reacting quickly to every twist in the pandemic, flexibility of booking has become the main concern.

Besides flexibility, clear cancellation policies were also very important.

The British have shown themselves willing to pay an average of £ 40 more for guaranteed flexibility.

Mike Parkinson, Director of Travel at Confidence, said: “Over the past 18 months UK holidaymakers have become more concerned about ensuring that there are processes in place to get their money back, and quickly if things go wrong.

“As the demand for more reinsurance, transparency and flexibility increases, there is a real opportunity for travel agencies and operators to gain the trust of customers by showing their commitment to offer more flexible options should something go wrong. .

“Without this guarantee, many vacationers won’t want to part with their money until they receive something in return.

“Tour operators have a responsibility to make sure vacations are accessible to everyone.

“Flexible policies, procedures and clear information will be essential to give Britons the confidence they need when preparing for travel.”

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