Jump to content

Holiday Bookings for Summer 2021


Recommended Posts

Nigel Wannacott is this evening quoted on BF's holiday bookings for this summer :

Brittany Ferries head of communications, Nigel Wanncott, said new bookings for summer 2021 are already 50% down on pre-Covid years, and those who have booked in advance are starting to cancel. “We’ve already written off spring. Now people who have booked for summer are beginning to wobble – it’s not an exodus yet but we are worried. A disastrous summer where people are discouraged from travelling would put us in a serious situation.”

the above paragraph is from The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2021/feb/05/cautious-uk-holidaymakers-hold-off-on-overseas-trips-until-autumn

Important not to get alarmed over this, I'd think.  Nigel specifically describes it as a wobble, not an exodus, and in the UK at least the prospects for the summer are getting brighter.  Autumn, even better.  Hopefully BF might be able to fill more autumn capacity than in a normal year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 237
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Hong Kong has had the benefit of dealing with SARS which at the time they treated as an atypical pneumonia. It killed 10% of the population of Amoy Gardens after it nearly wiped out the Prince of Wale

Loose talk! We will never get to the situation where 'everybody has been vaccinated' as people cannot be compelled to have it and making it compulsory simply isn't on the cards. I get really fed

It's not COVID per se that's causing the problem but the uncertainty. I'm afraid the only option is for all those companies in the tourist industry to band together and put pressure on those gove

6 minutes ago, Choucan said:

A disastrous summer where people are discouraged from travelling would put us in a serious situation.”

Exactly, BF need money this year. I note from tweets that the 12 month ticket validity is back and those that moved a booking from last year to this year may well start to get vocal if that stays.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This story flagged up by ITV News this afternoon may well hold the key. https://www.itv.com/news/2021-02-05/covid-what-would-a-vaccine-passport-allow-you-to-do

It seems some European countries, especially Greece are pro active. I`m sure there will be many people against this as for, but it looks like a bit of hope. I note that France isn`t yet one of the countries showing interest but at least Spain are and that`s good news for BF. 

I do think though that the bulk of the summer may well be a write off and Mr Wannacott seems to be hinting at this. Hopefully things will turn around. Who knows. Fingers crossed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not COVID per se that's causing the problem but the uncertainty.

I'm afraid the only option is for all those companies in the tourist industry to band together and put pressure on those governments which affect their business to answer three simple questions and stick to the response they give come what may. If in doubt, just say 'no'. 

a) Will you allow your citizens to travel abroad this year? 

If the answer is 'yes', from which date?

If the answer is 'no', then that's clear.

If the answer is 'only if...' then make the limits clear now (vaccine passport, negative test before departure etc).

b) If the answer to a) was yes, will those same citizens be allowed back into the country without quarantine restrictions?

If the answer is 'yes', then that's clear.

If the answer is 'no', what will be imposed?

If the answer is 'yes, as long as...' then set out the requirements now.

c) Will you allow citizens from other counties in for tourism?

If the answer is yes, then that's clear.

If the answer is no, then that's clear.

If the answer is 'yes, on condition...' then make those conditions clear now.

If BF get a NO/NO/NO answer from France then they would be better off cancelling all their planned services to the country and focus on alternative destinations. They can then put more ferries on the Spanish routes if they say YES.

So if BF get a YES/YES/YES from the UK, Ireland and Spain then they know where they stand. 

They will have to make staffing decisions for the summer in the next couple of months so need an answer now.

As for tourists, they would also know exactly where they stand. Nobody can complain if it's made clear from the outset. Last summer's uncertain quarantine fiasco not only created a lot of bad feeling but also led to reckless behaviour among those rushing back to beat the restrictions. 

Ed

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

It's not COVID per se that's causing the problem but the uncertainty.

I'm afraid the only option is for all those companies in the tourist industry to band together and put pressure on those governments which affect their business to answer three simple questions and stick to the response they give come what may. If in doubt, just say 'no'. 

a) Will you allow your citizens to travel abroad this year? 

If the answer is 'yes', from which date?

If the answer is 'no', then that's clear.

If the answer is 'only if...' then make the limits clear now (vaccine passport, negative test before departure etc).

b) If the answer to a) was yes, will those same citizens be allowed back into the country without quarantine restrictions?

If the answer is 'yes', then that's clear.

If the answer is 'no', what will be imposed?

If the answer is 'yes, as long as...' then set out the requirements now.

c) Will you allow citizens from other counties in for tourism?

If the answer is yes, then that's clear.

If the answer is no, then that's clear.

If the answer is 'yes, on condition...' then make those conditions clear now.

If BF get a NO/NO/NO answer from France then they would be better off cancelling all their planned services to the country and focus on alternative destinations. They can then put more ferries on the Spanish routes if they say YES.

So if BF get a YES/YES/YES from the UK, Ireland and Spain then they know where they stand. 

They will have to make staffing decisions for the summer in the next couple of months so need an answer now.

As for tourists, they would also know exactly where they stand. Nobody can complain if it's made clear from the outset. Last summer's uncertain quarantine fiasco not only created a lot of bad feeling but also led to reckless behaviour among those rushing back to beat the restrictions. 

Ed

Therein lies the problem. No government is going to want to give a certain answer in these times - we have already had the promise of 12 weeks, Christmas, Easter... now we are waiting for 22nd Feb to see what happens next...

If anything, here at least, my thoughts are it's likely to be the same/similar to last year with countries with R rates below UK rates, and probably some sort of vaccination clause as well, so France may well be off (from a UK perspective, not including French Rules) if the vaccine take up is limited.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, The Ferry Man said:

No government is going to want to give a certain answer in these times

So the travel companies take the decision for them. In the absence of a clear answer then assume it's NO and cancel everything.

The example of the French ski resorts should serve as a warning. They recruited all the seasonal workers, brought in equipment and took bookings and were only finally told 10 days ago that the season was cancelled. Booking are now only around 20% of normal for alternative activities like snow-shoeing and the government has to pay compensation for all the seasonal workers no longer needed.

Ed

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

So the travel companies take the decision for them. In the absence of a clear answer then assume it's NO and cancel everything.

The example of the French ski resorts should serve as a warning. They recruited all the seasonal workers, brought in equipment and took bookings and were only finally told 10 days ago that the season was cancelled. Booking are now only around 20% of normal for alternative activities like snow-shoeing and the government has to pay compensation for all the seasonal workers no longer needed.

Ed

The French government are urging ski stations to still hire seasonal workers, even knowing they will not be working. That puts them in line for existing support package rather than them simply being unemployed. Not sure how the sums or options stack up, but I get the idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one knows what will happen, times are not normal.

Last year we all thought that everything will be back to normal this Summer, how wrong we were.

We just need to relax and react to events appropriately, planning is not possible !

  • Like 1
  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Choucan said:

Brittany Ferries head of communications, Nigel Wanncott, said new bookings for summer 2021 are already 50% down on pre-Covid years, and those who have booked in advance are starting to cancel. “We’ve already written off spring. Now people who have booked for summer are beginning to wobble – it’s not an exodus yet but we are worried. A disastrous summer where people are discouraged from travelling would put us in a serious situation.”
 

I totally admire the honesty of this statement but he really shouldn't be saying stuff this to a mass media publication....Most tourists are like sheep, they like to follow the crowd. A statement like this could accelerate even more postponements or cancellations. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are simply too many unknowns at the moment. Effectiveness of vaccinations, differing progress on vaccinations between different countries, effect of mutations, uncertainty on whether vaccination supresses transmission - the list goes on. No sensible govenment is going to paint themselves into a corner at the moment by trying to define rules and timetables.

The upside is that a number of these factors will become a lot clearer in the coming weeks as more data becomes available so we will simply have to be patient. In the meantime it is indee a bit pointless making bookings on the assumption of conditions that may not materialise.

My best guess is that UK staycations may become possible by early summer, possibly a bit before, but that foreign travel is unlikely to start opening up much before early autumn and then it could be patchy. I'd love to be proved wrong though, (in the right direction of course!).

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, zuludelta said:

I totally admire the honesty of this statement but he really shouldn't be saying stuff this to a mass media publication....Most tourists are like sheep, they like to follow the crowd. A statement like this could accelerate even more postponements or cancellations. 

It depends whether the aim is to put pressure on the governments concerned or to prepare  customers for forthcoming cancellations. If the freight opportunities are looking good for the foreseeable future and BF would prefer to focus on those using their core employees (and not bringing in seasonal hotel staff) then his statement makes sense. If those freight services are enough to keep the company ticking over (and there are likely some routes which are being subsidised by the French regions) then it makes no sense reverting to the published summer timetable but not having any passengers. It would be far better to stick with what they've got going now, cancel (or offer vouchers) to those booked on routes which won't be able to run due to the ships being allocated elsewhere. If the governments don't provide the kind of clear answers I advocated above then it's the only sensible choice. If travel is allowed at a later date then passengers can be accommodated on the freight crossings where space is available but very much on a 'at your own risk' basis given that delays may occur due to the nature of the freight operation. If that gets BF through the summer, they can then envisage an Autumn timetable more akin to a usual year provided countries open their borders.

Ed

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

cancel (or offer vouchers) to those booked on routes which won't be able to run due to the ships being allocated elsewhere.

They had better not try forcing vouchers on us for cancellations this year !

A better option would be the option of either money back or a voucher for 10% more value .

We should find out within a month as they will have to decide whether to restart the routes for Easter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Last years voucher for Easter has been used for a booking this May. Any idea how far forward I can keep moving this? Will it be OK for next year? I know BF are the best to ask but anybody got any opinions

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, IanN said:

Last years voucher for Easter has been used for a booking this May. Any idea how far forward I can keep moving this? Will it be OK for next year? I know BF are the best to ask but anybody got any opinions

The booking conditions say that a ticket is valid for a year from the original outbound crossing, by creating a new ticket from the voucher it should be valid up to 12 months from your first May crossing. Last year BF were waiving the 12 month rule, it seems to be back,

Link to post
Share on other sites

No way will I book in advance and jump into a voucher pool . No way will I buy a flexible ticket valid even if it's valid for one year ahead. When it's safe to go and when it's fun to go I will buy an economy ticket a few days in advance. But I have said all that before. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my BF voucher converted last year.

 

Unfortunetaly, I then and made a Eurostar booking (things were "looking up", but I believe the LH route was off for foot pax)... which I now have a voucher for which needs to be booked by August. I think I'd rather have the BF one at the moment!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We're happy with vouchers, we'll use them eventually as we don't plan to cross the channel or BoB any other way.

I switch off when BF cry poverty as they've been doing it for years. Especially when we still see newbuilds sailing majestically over the horizon. I'll wait until I see them actually selling non BAI tonnage before I become remotely concerned.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, jonno said:

I switch off when BF cry poverty as they've been doing it for years. Especially when we still see newbuilds sailing majestically over the horizon. I'll wait until I see them actually selling non BAI tonnage before I become remotely concerned.

And throwing money down the drain by operating sailings which are there, not to supply a demand, but to give union members work to do.

I wonder if there is any element of BF being surprised by this downturn.  If they are, then they clearly understand the UK consumer no better than we in the UK understand Brittany business philosophy.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm quite pleased I used my two vouchers last October. I've still got one €75 voucher outstanding with Manche Iles Express for my aborted trip to Jersey. They said that they would give 18 months validity on that to include two summer seasons. It expires in early November and I'm not confident of the island being open this year. I'm in two minds whether to contact them and ask for my money back. As they are backed by the Normandy region I hope they will survive. 

Ed

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Gareth said:

And throwing money down the drain by operating sailings which are there, not to supply a demand, but to give union members work to do.

I wonder if there is any element of BF being surprised by this downturn.  If they are, then they clearly understand the UK consumer no better than we in the UK understand Brittany business philosophy.

I think they fully understand that giving steak & chips a fancy French name and making their ships nice and shiny on the inside with have us Brits flocking to them in droves. They know how to exploit much of the innate snobbery found in many of us.

How many travellers turn their nose up at Economie and the ships without a precious a la Carte?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, jonno said:

I think they fully understand that giving steak & chips a fancy French name and making their ships nice and shiny on the inside with have us Brits flocking to them in droves. They know how to exploit much of the innate snobbery found in many of us.

How many travellers turn their nose up at Economie and the ships without a precious a la Carte?

Indeed, they understand that, and understand it well.  I was thinking more of how UK consumers take to not having their money returned to them when the service paid for is not provided.  Memories of last spring will linger long in the minds of many, and it will be largely that experience that will be causing many to hold back from handing money over this time around when there is still so much uncertainty.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Indeed, they understand that, and understand it well.  I was thinking more of how UK consumers take to not having their money returned to them when the service paid for is not provided.  Memories of last spring will linger long in the minds of many, and it will be largely that experience that will be causing many to hold back from handing money over this time around when there is still so much uncertainty.

You're right, I think this a crucial area where we Brits differ a lot. In the U.K. the after sales service in many ways is more important than the actual sale.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, jonno said:

You're right, I think this a crucial area where we Brits differ a lot. In the U.K. the after sales service in many ways is more important than the actual sale.

Not really sure that is so different from the French, Germans, Dutch, Swedes ... We all have "throwaway" consumers who just want cheap and immediate with no interest in what follows, but we all also have clients who purchase on the basis of service.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jonno said:

You're right, I think this a crucial area where we Brits differ a lot. In the U.K. the after sales service in many ways is more important than the actual sale.

Is that true any more?  It seems people now go for the cheapest and not worry about service, Ryanair, buy from Ebay or Amazon instead of the local shop with after sales service. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Too many want champagne for lemonade prices and don't understand ramifications of what buying cheap means for supply, experience or after sales. Cheap does not equal value, nor long term prospects. In many cases value is something Europeans understand better than the UK.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...