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(Jul 01 2017 10-25 AM)SONY ILCE-7RM288387584-richtarr - 2017 - Samos.jpg
UK News

Christian holiday company: 'we're the most booked up we've ever been at this stage' following PM's roadmap

A Christian holiday company has told Premier the prime minister's announcement that international travel could resume in mid-May has brought positivity and optimism to the tourism industry. 

Adam Playfair, managing director of Richmond Christian Holidays, said the guidelines, although not set in stone, are a "light at the end of the tunnel". 

"We have a huge number of bookings already, we're the most booked up we've ever been at this stage for summer season," Playfair said. 

"So much of that is down to people deferring their holidays from last year. When we cancelled the holidays last year, everybody was offered a refund or the opportunity just to defer to the following year and so many guests said 'Look, I want the same again next year'. So, that's been a huge support," he continued.

The company offers summer holidays to Greece and winter ski holidays in France. Each day in the resorts there are times of prayer, praise and Bible-teaching available for guests.

Mr Playfair said it has been tough though: "I think for me, it parallels with that verse, Romans 5:1-5, that says when we've experienced suffering, we've experienced perseverance...and our hope is not put to shame. I think everyone is just breathing a sigh of relief," he said.  

On Monday, Boris Johnson hinted that international travel could resume on 17th May at the earliest, sparking a surge in holiday bookings. UK-based holidays could be allowed from 12th April but only with the same household. 

Airline EasyJet has said bookings by UK customers for the summer are more than four times higher than last week while traffic on Thomas Cook's website jumped 75 per cent.

The most popular destinations include spots in Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Many tourism companies have been supported by the Government's furlough scheme and other financial resources, but these companies are expected to bounce back once restrictions are fully eased. 

When asked if the pent-up demand would compensate for the lost income over the last year, Mr Playfair said it will take a while to fully recover from the economic impact of Covid on the industry. However, he thinks the support that has been provided by the Government will allow them to start operating normally soon. 

"Amazingly, there is such support from so many people, in particular in the UK, that we are in a position where we really can do this bounce back. We have the best bookings that we've ever really seen. I think that there will be a lot of people taking some extra holidays this year to make up for the missed holidays last year," he said. 

"It's so nice to be in this position now, in February, knowing that this summer is going to be great. We can't wait to get back out there and just experience the joy of God's creation being in the beauty of the Greek islands," he concluded.


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