Britons have jumped at the prospect of winter getaways, with holiday searches increasing by staggering amounts following the Government’s latest travel corridor announcement.
From 4am on Sunday, holidaymakers to the Canary Islands, Denmark, the Maldives and the Greek island of Mykonos will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the move on Thursday evening, sparking a rush to secure last-minute deals, according to two leading travel agents.
Thomas Cook also saw demand for Canary Island holidays leap, with searches rising by more than 20 times on the previous week.
The newly relaunched firm said overall visits to its website tripled following the 5pm announcement, and interest continued to accelerate this morning.
Customers flocked to grab last-minute deals to the main islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, it said.
Meanwhile, Hays Travel named Tenerife's beach spots of Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje and Playa De Las Americas as the most popular destinations among visitors to its site.
The agent said it would be resuming holidays to the Canary Islands from October 24 from Manchester, with flights from Newcastle available from October 30.
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said the firm was expecting a “bumper weekend of interest – particularly with half-term upon us.”
They added: “It looks like Brits are clamouring to flock south for the winter and demand for holidays in the sun-soaked Canaries has come at just the right time for people looking for a break.”
The boost to the travel industry comes as Virgin Holidays committed to refund all customers whose package holidays were cancelled due to coronavirus after hundreds of complaints were made over delayed payments.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigated the travel firm after being alerted that some consumers were waiting “an unreasonably long time” to get their money back, with some being told it would take 120 days.
Virgin Holidays has received 53,000 refund requests since March 1, totalling £203 million.
The CMA announced on Thursday it has received “formal commitments” that all refunds will be processed “without undue delay”.
Holidays cancelled up to the end of August will be repaid by October 30, while those cancelled last month or this month will be repaid by November 20.
Trips cancelled from next month will be refunded within 14 days, which is the maximum length of time under consumer law.