Holidaymakers plan doubling up on booking vacations says Bognor Regis travel firm boss

Travel firm boss George Mitchell believes holidaymakers plan to make up for being unable to take trips abroad by doubling up on booking vacations.

Mr Mitchell has bucked the trend by opening a travel agent in Bognor Regis town centre ahead of the government’s traffic light system announcement which will lay out the destinations sun-seekers can head to following travel restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.

Since the third lockdown began four months ago, international travel for non-essential purposes has been illegal. But the ban on overseas travel will end on May 17.

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And the managing director of family-run Mitchell’s Travel, which is situated in London Road – and which doubles up as a coffee shop, says he is confident that the travel industry and his business are in for a major boost.

Geroge Mitchell is ready for a busy time ahead as travel opens up

He said: “All indications are that our clients are looking to get away as soon as it is permissible and that they will try to make up for the lack of travel through lockdown by booking two and even three holidays.

“Don’t forget people who take trips regularly have been denied their getaways, they have been pent up for 14 months or so.

“And they are keen to make up for lost time and they have money saved to pay for the extra breaks they plan.

“We have been really happy with the footfall in our premises.

“The feedback we have had has been really heartening.

“Bookings have been steady but are now on the up with the new advice on the horizon.

“This year people are looking at destinations such as Malta, Greece, the Balearic Islands, Gibraltar and some parts of Spain and of course we are doing a great amount of staycation trade with all the big cruise companies sailing around the UK this summer as well, it really is very positive.

“Next year is already getting busy in terms of bookings and we hope that more and more destinations will be able to open up and this will encourage more clients to book and look to do so further afield.

“A new sense of adventure means people want to tick destinations off their bucket lists, places such as the Maldives and the Caribbean.

“It looks like we’re in for a very busy few months and we are, of course, delighted this is the case.”