Flights and hotels to typical fall vacation destinations began to fill up.
– The beginning of October will be full, and over 90 percent of the volume we have planned for has already been sold. Now it is possible if you want to travel on a charter holiday in 2021. This winter, the Canary Islands with Gran Canaria and Tenerife are the most popular destinations, says Marie-Anne Zachrisson, communications manager at Ving Norge, to Nettavisen.
Ving already has plans to offer deals on trips to the Canary Islands. It is no coincidence that the travel companies are now experiencing great demand. Last Friday, the government announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel advice, which expires on 1 October, will not be extended. The Travel Council advises against all travel that is not strictly necessary to countries outside the EU / EEA, Great Britain and Switzerland. Then Norwegians took the travel craving seriously.
During the corona pandemic, there has been strict travel advice, and travelers have been necessary to be able to stick to both the quarantine, quarantine hotel and test. Now, however, it looks far brighter for both travel-loving Norwegians, and the travel companies that were hit hard when the pandemic came in March last year.
– The autumn holiday weeks began to fill up. This applies to special destinations such as Alicante and Malaga in Spain and Antalya in Turkey, says Eline Hyggen Skari, communications consultant in Norwegian, to Nettavisen.
Norway marked a huge upswing after the government’s press conference.
– The first four times afterwards, it was a 50 percent increase in sales compared to the Friday before. The number of orders remained high throughout the weekend, says Skari.
– Get a seat again
This year, the autumn holidays in weeks 40 and 41 are large parts of the country. When Nettavisen checks flights from Oslo to Alicante, for adults and children, 5.-10. October (week 40) Tuesday afternoon, it is very difficult to get alternative and many can be used by tickets. Also at SAS, there are few tickets available and high prices.
The flight price index for week 42 shows that the arrows are pointing upwards for several European destinations in week 42, so it is clear that prices are on the rise. There is no airfare index for weeks 40 and 41.
SAS also notices the strong increase on Friday, and reports a 60 percent increase in the number of bookings that sit on Friday compared to Friday the week before the government announced the reopening.
– We felt progress as soon as the government came with the news. We clearly see that the desire to travel has picked up – also in the corporate market, says press manager John Eckhoff in SAS to Nettavisen.
Nora Aspengren, communications manager for TUI in Norway, says that it started to be located again if you want to take the family on a trip during the autumn holidays.
– The autumn holiday weeks are starting to be fully booked, she says to Nettavisen.
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Explosive growth to the United States
There are special travel destinations that Las Palmas and the mainland of Spain SAS’s customers book a trip to. But European cities are also popular, especially Stockholm and Copenhagen.
– It is clear that people are going to warmer regions. We do not have a sold-out situation yet, but it pays to be out early, says Eckhoff in SAS.
SAS also sees that Norwegians book trips for the autumn holidays and for the winter. At the same time, they are noticing a larger order increase for the USA.
– We notice that the booking to the USA picks up after they announced the opening from the beginning of November. That’s a big percentage increase, as he can say nothing about how many more who have now booked US tour.
– Search for flights to the USA is skyrocketing, and increases by about 147 percent compared to before the government’s announcement that the travel advice will be removed, says Per Christiansen, spokesperson for Momondo in Norway, by e-mail via Lisbet Due Berg.
However, he points out that the news that the United States will open borders to fully vaccinated European tourists from November, and may also have led to many searches being.
– Restrictions abroad
Eckhoff says at SAS now the clearly biggest sales boom since the pandemic has hit tourism.
– The growth in sales is formidable, but it is important to remember that we are going up from many low levels. The sales curve goes straight up. It is a ketchup effect of the pent-up desire to travel we are now seeing. It is very gratifying for an industry that has been hit very hard by the pandemic, says Eckhoff, and comes with an important message:
– Even though Norway has opened up, there will be restrictions abroad. Therefore, it is important to keep up to date on what applies in the country you are traveling to.
Norwegian is also satisfied with the demand, and sees a tendency for more people now to also book trips a little further ahead. However, she can not say how I have affected the explosive demand.
– Prices are driven by supply and demand and are dynamic, and travel during the school holidays is popular. It goes without saying that the cost level for travel during these periods increases somewhat, she says.
Nor does Eckhoff in SAS know anything more about the price level yet that it is dynamic prices.
260 percent sales growth
Both TUI, Apollo and Ving, as well as Norwegian and SAS are noticing great sales growth after Friday’s press conference.
– It is really exciting to follow the positive sales development. From Friday afternoon and in the days after, we have experienced a sales increase of 260 percent on the same days in 2019, says Zachrisson in Ving.
She points out since 2020 was not a normal year, it is more natural to measure growth towards 2019.
Other travel companies are also experiencing strong sales growth.
– It was like a shot started when the Minister of Justice recommended us all a good trip. With a tripling in sales compared to last weekend, we can safely say that this message is something many have been waiting for a challenge, said Beatriz Rivera, communications manager at Apollo in a press release on Monday.
The tour operator is happy that the travel restrictions are now relaxed, and that the global travel advice is lifted. Several Norwegians have managed to book an autumn holiday trip, but also next year’s summer holiday, some have seen their cut to get booked already.
TUI sees the same trend.
– We had a tripling this weekend compared to the weekend before. We also see a doubling of orders from families with children, says Aspengren in TUI.
Norwegians have now started booking trips for both the autumn holidays, the Christmas holidays, the winter holidays and next year’s summer holidays. In autumn and winter, it is mainly Spain and Greece that are the travel destinations for those who choose TUI.
– Almost everyone is going to Gran Canaria, says Aspengren, and says that they have received many bookings for November to January.
However, the price level holder can be stabilized and at a normal level, so that was before the pandemic, she says.
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– Hotels are more expensive than usual
The online newspaper travel tips saw a sharp increase when the government announced reopening, and have not seen anything like this before:
– We have never seen such rapid growth from one day to the next in interest, click and search hotels that we saw from Thursday to Friday. The last time it was opened, last year, there was a rapid growth in Norwegian orders. It was more than a normal upswing, this is straight up, says Pål Nisja-Wilhelmsen, innovation director for innovation and business development in Nettavisen.
He says that they are seeing a tripling in the number of hotel bookings by September 2020. It started a week before the reopening, and will continue at the same pace going forward. Nisja-WIlhelmsen says that the number of bookings per day has reached the same level as before the corona.
– People book trips throughout the autumn and up to and including the winter holidays 2022, he says.
The fact that more and more people are booking travel abroad is also reflected in the prices:
– Hotels are more expensive than usual. Prices are up 30-40 percent on average, says Nisja-Wilhelmsen.
There are special hotels on Gran Canaria in Spain that are popular, but also other sunny and warm places are what people want to go.
– The interest in hotels in the south, as we like to call it, exploded last weekend after the reopening was announced, he says.
The travel market outside Norway has hardly been based since March 2020, when Nettavisen travel tips. Now it is almost only hotel outside Norway people book.
– We also see that people are acting faster than before. Usually it was many days between people doing research on hotels until it was bought. Now we see purchases within a quarter of an hour of searches, he says.
– On planes, we have been informed by our partners that it is starting to sell out in a few days, and that prices are pushing upwards, says Nisja-Wilhelmsen.
Per Christiansen in Momondo.no says that searching for international travel increases by about 69 percent from Friday to Sunday last week, compared to the same period the week before – that is, before the government’s press conference.
Of European destinations, the largest increase is in the search for travel to Gdansk in Poland, and an increase of 132 percent, followed by the Austrian city of Vienna with an increase of 125 percent, and Berlin in Germany with 118 percent growth. Search for travel outside of Europe has also had great growth, for Momondo. Phuket in Thailand with an increase of 114 percent, New York in the United States of 111 percent and Bangkok in Thailand of 80 percent.
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Christiansen says that the prices for international routes are insignificant, but several of the destinations that most people are looking for travel to have a price increase. Air fares have increased by an average of 14 percent for travel to London, 9.5 percent to Copenhagen, and flying Gdansk have a price increase of 26 percent.