'No, gracias': Holidaymakers choose staycations over Spain

Nicholas Lee, director of Broadland Travel. Pic: Archant library

Nicholas Lee, director of Broadland Travel. - Credit: Archant

Spain may be ready to welcome back tourists but a Norfolk travel agent says there is little appetite for a holiday in the sun.

In fact, Nick Lee, who runs Broadland Travel in North Walsham, has not had any enquiries about trips to the sunny land of sangria.

This comes despite Spain signalling it may be one of the first countries open for Brits if lockdown ends fully in June.

Palma, Majorca

Majorca may offer the sun but people are choosing to not book there until more is known about what is required for foreign travel. - Credit: Getty images

It seems people are reluctant to take a punt on what the government is going to announce next week in view of foreign travel.

Instead, those wanting to book a break are either opting to stay close to home - or choosing to defer their holidays until 2022.

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Foreign holidays from May 17 are still an unknown with the government expected to code countries using a traffic light system based on coronavirus risk.

Spain - which welcomed 18m Brits in 2019 - is trialling a digital certificate scheme which shows if a person has had a vaccine, negative test or recovered from the virus.

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Meanwhile, Greece has stated it may be prepared to accept tourists with a proof of vaccination only. Foreign cruises are also still under review but domestic ones sailing around the UK are set to start from May 17.

Mr Lee said: "People in Norfolk do like to holiday in Norfolk but they are saying that cottages are expensive. Whereas you'd normally be looking at more than 200 available cottages, you've got 21 which is why the price has gone up.

"I've not had anyone booking for Spain but plenty for next year -  everything from Disneyland Paris to a river cruise on the Danube to the US. I've had more bookings for next year than ever before at this time of year, the numbers are more what I would expect for November-December.

"A lot of people say they are waiting for the government, they want to book last minute which means there could be a free-for-all and prices will really go up."

Holiday flights abroad are supposed to resume from Norwich Airport in May with TUI flights to Turkey, Majorca, Bulgaria and Corfu. But the airport has stated these are subject to change.

DESTINATIONS: Richard Pace, Managing Director, Norwich Airport. The airport has published its Fly No

Richard Pace, managing director, Norwich Airport. - Credit: Archant

Richard Pace, managing director at Norwich Airport, said“We’re delighted that Spain is getting ready to welcome holidaymakers, particularly with the return of flights from Norwich to Majorca scheduled for mid-May. It’s more positive news for our airport and our region."

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