Holidays: How to ‘protect’ 2022 travel bookings against sudden Covid cancellations | Travel News | Travel









Holidays: How to ‘protect’ 2022 travel bookings against sudden Covid cancellations | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix

























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Travel news latest: Holiday bookings surge as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels


The cost of going on holiday has tumbled as new travel testing rules come into force.

Following an announcement from Boris Johnson on Wednesday, travellers are now saved from the costly process of taking a lateral flow test before their return to the UK (costing roughly £20 per person) and a PCR test on day two of their arrival (costing roughly £80 per person) – for a family of four this cuts £500 off the price of a holiday.

Under the new rules, which come into force at 4am on Friday, fully vaccinated holidaymakers will now only face taking a Day Two lateral flow test. 

Tour operators are standing by for a surge in bookings, for both ski and winter sun holidays. Ailsa Pollard, CEO of DNATA Travel Group, which owns the likes of Travel Republic and Travelbag, described the news as “the positive start to the 2022 that the travel industry needs.”

“There have been many false dawns since this pandemic begun, but this is a sensible and timely move. There are some fantastic deals available, with many new measures in place to ensure customers can book with total confidence.”

In a further boost to travellers, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We want to provide more certainty to passengers and businesses, and will do a full review of our international travel measures for 2022 by the end of the month.”

Testing hasn’t been completely scrapped however. Unvaccinated travellers must continue to follow the old rules, including self isolation for 10 days, and many destinations require travellers to take tests before their arrival.





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Travel news live: Latest updates as holiday bookings surge


The travel industry has welcomed yesterday’s change to the travel testing rules, with a surge in holiday bookings expected in the coming weeks.

Boris Johnson yesterday announced that both pre-departure Covid tests and the requirement for PCR tests would be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s.

The CEO of Kuoni’s parent company Der Touristik UK, Derek Jones, has predicted that travel will be “90 per cent back before the end of spring”.

Those arriving to the UK from 4am tomorrow, 7 January, no longer need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result, and no longer have to self-isolate while waiting for results of their day two test.

Then, from 4am on Sunday 9 January, double jabbed travellers and under-18s will be able to use lateral flow (antigen) tests rather than more expensive PCRs.

Meanwhile, the Scottish and Northern Irish governments have yet to announce whether they will follow suit with England’s easing of testing rules.

Yesterday Wales’s minister for health and social services, Eluned Morgan, confirmed that she had “reluctantly agreed” to the plans.

Follow all the latest updates below.

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Scottish government “frustration” over travel testing announcement

Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, has criticised Boris Johnson’s government for announcing eased travel testing rules before all four UK nations had agreed to changes.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, Mr Yousaf said: “Although we’re engaged in conversations with the UK government, it’s a source of frustration that if the UK government unilaterally decides to move in a certain direction, we end up with potentially a double whammy if we don’t align.

“Our aviation sector, which has undoubtedly been significantly affected throughout the course of this pandemic, get further hit.

“Also, we don’t end up realising any public health benefit if we have to put measures in place because ultimately a number of people may well travel from English airports if that is seen to be easier or cheaper.”

The presenter, Gary Robertson, asked: “So would you rather not align with this measure?”

The health secretary replied: “That’s not what I’m saying. I’m simply saying that it would be helpful if the discussions could not just happen on a four-nations basis, but any announcements could take place on a four-nations basis.”

Mr Yousaf said MSPs will be told about any changes on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s obviously important that we update parliament first and foremost,” he said.

Simon Calder6 January 2022 08:45

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Your most-asked travel questions answered

Following the announcement of a change in rules, the travel desk of The Independent has been flooded with readers’ questions. These are some of the most recent:

Q: Why is there a discrepancy between the changes in pre-departure and PCR tests?

A: Pre-departure tests are not required for arrivals from 4am on Friday. Post-arrival lateral flow tests (LFTs) can replace PCRs from 4am on Sunday. The difference in timing is to allow testing companies to re-orient their offerings.

Q: The lateral flow test on return. Is this a paid-for LFT or the free issue LFT?

A: All day two tests must be privately booked and paid for, even lateral flow tests. NHS tests cannot be used for international travel.

Q: We land from Dubai at Heathrow on Friday 7 January at 5.45am. Do we still need to take a PCR test before boarding

A: No. Very few countries or airlines demand proof from departing travellers. And Emirates makes clear that passengers from Dubai do not. The airline says: “Passengers travelling from Dubai will need to undergo Covid‑19 PCR testing only if it is required by the country you are travelling to.” Which it won’t be.

Here’s everything we know about the new rules:

Simon Calder6 January 2022 08:26

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Travellers await Scotland and Northern Ireland update

Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to confirm that they’ll follow suit with England’s changes to travel testing rules.

An update is expected this morning.

Yesterday afternoon, Wales’s minister for health and social services, Eluned Morgan, confirmed that the Welsh government had “reluctantly agreed” to the plans.

“Just a few weeks after its notification to the World Health Organisation, Omicron has spread around the world and is now the dominant form of the virus in the UK,” said Morgan in a statement.

“In line with decisions being taken elsewhere in the UK, I have today reluctantly agreed to remove the requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s to take a pre-departure test (PDT) and a day 2 PCR test when arriving in the UK.

“We are concerned at the speed at which the UK government is re-opening international travel, given on-going concerns of importing new variants and adding additional pressure to our health services.

“Day two PCR testing acts as something of a surveillance system for international travel – if we had retained the requirement for a day two PCR test, we may have been alerted to the presence and introduction of Omicron earlier.”

Lucy Thackray6 January 2022 07:58

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Consumers urged to check for financial protection as bookings surge

With travel testing rules for arrivals in the UK set to ease at the weekend, holiday sales are increasing.

Airlines and tour operators say that the removal of the pre-departure test will restore confidence among travellers.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging consumers to be book Atol-protected holidays and look out for hidden costs.

Michael Budge, head of Atol at the CAA, said: “This weekend, typically known as ‘Sunshine Saturday’, is traditionally the busiest time of the year for people booking their holidays.

“With travel restrictions easing, many consumers will be taking advantage of bargain deals, but could be missing out on key financial protection.

“If you are booking a package holiday, make sure you check for the Atol logo to ensure you are protected in the unlikely case that your travel company stops trading.”

The CAA also urges travellers to check what is covered by the Atol certificate.

Extras under a separate booking, such as theme park tickets, travel insurance or seat upgrades, are unlikely to be covered.

Passengers at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal

(Simon Calder)

Simon Calder6 January 2022 07:39

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Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest news and updates.

Lucy Thackray6 January 2022 07:34



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Travel Advisors See Increased Business and More Bookings to Europe


Travel Experts has found that travelers are booking trips to Europe, making it one of the most popular destinations for 2022.

In other good news, travel advisors are reporting an increase in business for the fourth quarter.

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In a recent survey of its travel advisors, 80 percent of Travel Experts advisors reported an increase in business in the 4th quarter of 2021 and 96 percent of those reporting are seeing a steady flow of bookings for 2022.

Travel to Europe overwhelmingly leads the way with 88 percent of advisors noting that the Continent is either number one, two or three in bookings being made for 2022.

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Following bookings to Europe, 42 percent of the advisors list domestic vacations as one of the top three for 2022 bookings. Thirty-eight percent are booking cruises, and 38 percent are booking more cruises, 34 percent reported Caribbean bookings, 29 percent said river cruises and 17 percent said South America trips were popular. Eight percent said Hawaii and Central America.

Rob DelliBovi, RDB Hospitality in Miami Beach told Travel Experts that despite the fact that “our corporate business is down about 50 percent, our entertainment and music bookings are above 2019 revenues, and our celebrity business is the best it has ever been.”

Holly Lombardo in Atlanta said that she is seeing a lot of referrals.

“My business is exceeding 2019 based on unprecedented referrals. However, some folks still are concerned about international travel because of the potential negative. antigen test to return to U.S. They do not want to undergo quarantine out of country,’ said Lombardo.

Elaine Carey, a travel advisor in Whispering Pines, North Carolina, said that she hopes Omicron doesn’t become a problem.

“My business has just begun to bloom in the past couple of months and boy am I happy about it, even though I’m overwhelmed. Now, if only that new variant dissipates quickly,” said Carey.

Many advisors are still struggling.

“I just had a lot of bookings cancel for December,” said Linda de Sosa, Bucketlist Travel Consulting in Houston. “Some for fright, others for new quarantine rules. It is very difficult to get people to book close in when rules and flight schedules keep changing.”

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:



For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.





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2 Minute Travel Tip: Save Massive Amounts Of Points By Checking Your IHG Award Bookings


2 Minute Travel Tip: Save Massive Amounts Of Points By Checking Your IHG Award Bookings

Craig recently wrote a thoughtful article about how the increased prevalence of ‘dynamic pricing’ impacts the way that smart travellers should plan their travel. One of the main points was that it now makes sense to ‘lock in’ a points booking asap, but then keep checking to see if the number of points required drops.

 

Grant over at TravelWithGrant shared a perfect example of this – dropping a 90,000 points IHG Rewards booking down, first to 76,000 points, and then all the way down to just 48,000 points!

From my own experience, I can confirm that IHG Rewards Points pricing in particular can vary enormously – even when the corresponding cash rate stays more or less the same. It’s possible to save more than 50% on some occasions.

Bottom line

This is a strategy that can be applied to any other ‘dynamic’ points/miles currency too, but the swings in IHG Points rates are remarkable. Book on the wrong day (and don’t check again) and you might end up getting terrible value from your points.

Book the same hotel for the same stay date on a different day and you might end up getting a fantastic deal!

How often do you check your award bookings to see if you can save some points?



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Online Travel Update: South Korean Regulators Re-examine OTA Practices; Cruise Bookings Move Online; Fairfly Plans To Offer Hotel Solution – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment



United States:

Online Travel Update: South Korean Regulators Re-examine OTA Practices; Cruise Bookings Move Online; Fairfly Plans To Offer Hotel Solution


To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on Mondaq.com.

Our cruise industry friends make an appearance in this
week’s Update, one of their first appearances in some time.
Enjoy.

South Korean Regulators Re-Examine OTA Practices

(“Online hotel booking sites to come under heightened
scrutiny from South Korean regulator,” October 28, 2021 via
MLEX Insight) (subscription may be required)


By now, readers are well aware of South Korea’s previous
investigation into the major online travel agencies (OTAs)’
contracting practices (specifically, rate parity requirements) and
the resulting “corrections” announced by OTAs (Booking.com, Agoda,
Expedia and

By now, readers are well aware of South Korea’s previous
investigation into the major online travel agencies (OTAs)’
contracting practices (specifically, rate parity requirements) and
the resulting “corrections” announced by OTAs
(Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia and Hotels.com) earlier this year. These
corrections mirror the compromises reached in several other
countries where OTAs agreed to remove availability and indirect
channel rate parity, but retained direct channel parity
requirements (e.g., hoteliers must continue to provide OTAs with
rates equal to or better than the rates on the hoteliers’ own
websites). With the travel industry expected to rebound quickly in
Korea as the threat of COVID subsides, the Korea Fair Trade
Commission (KFTC) announced last week plans to re-examine the
OTAs’ current contracting practices and their effect on the
market. Separately, the KFTC announced that an investigation into
OTAs’ advertising practices, specifically whether OTAs provide
adequate notice regarding display advertising’s effects on sort
order, was already underway.

Cruise Moves Online

(“Online cruise bookings leave many travel advisors
behind,” October 27, 2021 via PhocusWire)


For years I’ve asked our cruise industry clients why the
industry was slow to move more of their bookings online (relying
instead on traditional offline distribution channels). While the
answers varied, the most common response I received was that the
complexity of cruise offerings (e.g., hundreds of cabin types,
rates, etc.) made it difficult for most travelers to book online.
Times may be changing. In a recorded video to travel advisors,
Royal Caribbean Group CEO, Richard Fain, reported that while demand
for the company’s cruise offerings was rebounding, the revival
was coming largely through online channels. Is this simply because
of travelers’ reaction to moving their other purchases online
during COVID? A reflection of the massive layoffs that occurred at
travel agents and advisors? For an industry that has relied so
heavily through the years on travel agents and advisors, this will
be an interesting trend to watch.  

Fairfly to Offer Hotel Solution

(“FairFly to Debut Hotel Solution,” October 25,
2021 via Business Travel News)


Last week, re-shopping platform, Fairfly,
announced that it would be launching a hotel re-shopping platform
in early 2022. The platform will allow Fairfly clients to reshop
(e.g., automated cancellation of current bookings and rebooking at
lower available rates) their hotel bookings through the
platform’s use of multi-channel data and artificial
intelligence. Hotel rate benchmarking and other tools will also be
made available to clients. Fairfly’s announcement comes at a
time where other similar fintech-backed travel products and
services (i.e. Hopper‘s airfare and room rate
freezes) are garnering much of the industries’ attention.

Other news:

Marriott to Adopt a Dynamic Pricing System
for Bonvoy Loyalty Program


October 26, 2021 via TravelWeekly

Starting early next year, Marriott will move to dynamic pricing
for its Bonvoy rewards redemption rates, the company announced.
Dynamic pricing – setting flexible prices for products or services
based on market demands – has been used to boost profits for a
range of industries from sporting-event tickets to rideshare
services.

Trivago and China’s Huawei Partner for
Smartphone Company’s Paid Search


October 26, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be
required)


The Trivago-Huawei deal is one of several that Trivago is piloting
where it provides backend services to business partners. These
could develop one day into a material revenue stream for the German
company.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment from United States

The Legal Implications Of Social Media Marketing In 2021

Klein Moynihan Turco LLP

Social media platforms have become an increasingly common forum for social interactions around the globe. To illustrate their burgeoning popularity, Facebook, alone, garners about 1.9 billion unique daily users.

Tech & Telecom Weekly – November 8, 2021

Potomac Law Group

Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.



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Online Travel Update: South Korean regulators re-examine OTA practices; cruise bookings move online; Fairfly plans to offer hotel solution | Foster Garvey PC


Our cruise industry friends make an appearance in this week’s Update, one of their first appearances in some time. Enjoy.

South Korean Regulators Re-Examine OTA Practices
(“Online hotel booking sites to come under heightened scrutiny from South Korean regulator,” October 28, 2021 via MLEX Insight) (subscription may be required)
By now, readers are well aware of South Korea’s previous investigation into the major online travel agencies (OTAs)’ contracting practices (specifically, rate parity requirements) and the resulting “corrections” announced by OTAs (Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia and Hotels.com) earlier this year. These corrections mirror the compromises reached in several other countries where OTAs agreed to remove availability and indirect channel rate parity, but retained direct channel parity requirements (e.g., hoteliers must continue to provide OTAs with rates equal to or better than the rates on the hoteliers’ own websites). With the travel industry expected to rebound quickly in Korea as the threat of COVID subsides, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) announced last week plans to re-examine the OTAs’ current contracting practices and their effect on the market. Separately, the KFTC announced that an investigation into OTAs’ advertising practices, specifically whether OTAs provide adequate notice regarding display advertising’s effects on sort order, was already underway.

Cruise Moves Online
(“Online cruise bookings leave many travel advisors behind,” October 27, 2021 via PhocusWire)
For years I’ve asked our cruise industry clients why the industry was slow to move more of their bookings online (relying instead on traditional offline distribution channels). While the answers varied, the most common response I received was that the complexity of cruise offerings (e.g., hundreds of cabin types, rates, etc.) made it difficult for most travelers to book online. Times may be changing. In a recorded video to travel advisors, Royal Caribbean Group CEO, Richard Fain, reported that while demand for the company’s cruise offerings was rebounding, the revival was coming largely through online channels. Is this simply because of travelers’ reaction to moving their other purchases online during COVID? A reflection of the massive layoffs that occurred at travel agents and advisors? For an industry that has relied so heavily through the years on travel agents and advisors, this will be an interesting trend to watch.  

Fairfly to Offer Hotel Solution
(“FairFly to Debut Hotel Solution,” October 25, 2021 via Business Travel News)
Last week, re-shopping platform, Fairfly, announced that it would be launching a hotel re-shopping platform in early 2022. The platform will allow Fairfly clients to reshop (e.g., automated cancellation of current bookings and rebooking at lower available rates) their hotel bookings through the platform’s use of multi-channel data and artificial intelligence. Hotel rate benchmarking and other tools will also be made available to clients. Fairfly’s announcement comes at a time where other similar fintech-backed travel products and services (i.e. Hopper’s airfare and room rate freezes) are garnering much of the industries’ attention.


Other news:

Marriott to Adopt a Dynamic Pricing System for Bonvoy Loyalty Program
October 26, 2021 via TravelWeekly
Starting early next year, Marriott will move to dynamic pricing for its Bonvoy rewards redemption rates, the company announced. Dynamic pricing – setting flexible prices for products or services based on market demands – has been used to boost profits for a range of industries from sporting-event tickets to rideshare services.

Trivago and China’s Huawei Partner for Smartphone Company’s Paid Search
October 26, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
The Trivago-Huawei deal is one of several that Trivago is piloting where it provides backend services to business partners. These could develop one day into a material revenue stream for the German company.



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Delta sees 450% increase in bookings from outside U.S. as travel ban lifts – The Atlanta Journal Constitution



Delta sees 450% increase in bookings from outside U.S. as travel ban lifts   The Atlanta Journal Constitution



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Reopening drives United States flight bookings | News


New research from ForwardKeys has revealed flight bookings to the USA have soared following two announcements that the destination would reopen to vaccinated foreign travellers in November.

By mid-October, weekly bookings exceeded 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The first announcement was made on September 20th, when the White House said that visitors from the United Kingdom, Ireland, the 26 Schengen countries, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil would be allowed to enter the USA, without being subject to quarantine, provided they were fully vaccinated.

That caused an immediate reaction, with week-on-week bookings from the UK jumping 83 per cent, from Brazil jumping 71 per cent, and from the EU jumping 185 per cent.

The second announcement was made on October 15th, when Kevin Munoz, assistant press secretary to the US president, named November 8th as the date restrictions would be relaxed.

Week-on-week bookings climbed higher still, jumping 15 per cent from the UK, 26 per cent from the EU and 100 per cent from Brazil.

Juan Gómez, head of market intelligence, ForwardKeys, said: “This data yet again demonstrates the enormous pent-up demand for travel.

“Immediately people heard that they would be allowed to visit the USA again; they booked; and a substantial proportion booked to fly as soon as they could.

“It is also interesting to note that bookings climbed higher once a specific date was given.

“That is not entirely surprising for two reasons. First, the certainty of a specific date inspires confidence.

“Second, those wanting to travel before the end of November could not afford to make a commitment until they knew for sure that they could travel when they wanted to.

“I am optimistic that in the coming weeks, we will see a steep increase in bookings to the USA for the Christmas period.”





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