Holiday trips are officially allowed to return to part of Europe since Monday: code orange has been changed to code yellow by the government for Italy, Germany and France, among others. Airlines are also slowly expanding their destinations. Nevertheless, the situation is still more uncertain than usual. What does this mean for our holidays this year?
Recent advertisements speak volumes: the Dutch holiday parks are flying around your head, TUI market leader uses the slogan "Holiday is here", and D-Reizen opens the website with a "top 10 best holidays in the Netherlands". "Our focus on the Netherlands was forced," said TUI spokesperson Petra Kok, who usually focuses mainly beyond national borders.
Fortunately, the latter has been possible since Monday. The messages from airlines do not tumble over each other for nothing. Ryanair will restore thirty flight routes to and from the Netherlands from July, easyJet will resume flights from 22 European airports and Transavia will also be releasing a list that will be flown again from next month.
"People are not going to say: I am now booking three holidays in a row." Mirjam Dresmé, spokesperson ANVR
'Happy with the countries we can return to'
"The color yellow has never been more important," said spokesman Mirjam Dresmé of the trade association General Dutch Association of Travel Companies (ANVR). "It is a special day: we are finally allowed to go again. Distant journeys do not seem to be in it for the time being, but at least we are happy with the countries where we can return to within Europe."
That sentiment is also alive at TUI: "We are hopeful and ready. Because people want to go on holiday; that's for sure."
It is high time, according to the industry. ANVR represents about three hundred travel organizations and sees that many of them are having a hard time after four months in which practically nothing was possible. Although many companies got creative by setting up a large supply in the Netherlands, they too are left with a gap in income that cannot be made up. "People are not going to say: I am now booking three holidays in a row."
Also problematic is that many of the trips booked now are paid for with holiday vouchers that were canceled. In short, this does not generate any new income. "As a travel organization, you will not get any fat from your rebooking," said ANVR spokesperson Dresmé.
In addition, a temporary 'Dutch' interpretation was not possible for every provider. "Some of our members mainly travel long distances, so it is still a tough one for them."
"The bookings are coming in slowly." Petra Kok, spokesperson for TUI
Spain, Greece and Turkey are still on orange
The list of permitted holiday countries is also far from complete as far as the industry is concerned: popular destinations such as Spain, Greece and Turkey are missed.
"If we see those countries jumping from orange to yellow, that will really bring redemption," TUI spokesman Kok thinks. According to her, consumers are looking more for those countries and people are therefore still cautious in their bookings. "They are only coming in slowly."
There is also still fear to book because people think they will not be taken back if the virus flares up at their destination. However, that is not correct, the industry organization assures. "Many people have misunderstood Mark Rutte's message about repatriation. In any case, travelers are taken back free of charge. That is the legal obligation of every travel company. Only if you book a flight yourself is it a different story."