In a dark nine months without travel, people are looking for any sign that they might be able to hit the road again soon. And a big sign happened earlier this week when Pfizer announced early results from its COVID-19 vaccine trial, which suggested that their vaccine is more than 90 percent effective.
This news allows us to imagine the end of the pandemic and the resumption of travel, and because people are starved for a decent vacation, holiday searches spiked as soon as it came out.
Skyscanner, a flight and accommodation booking platform, reported an instant spike in online traffic this week, up by 48 percent over the previous week.
CV Villas, which operates across Europe and the Caribbean, also saw an increase in searches, up by 76 percent over the previous Monday with bookings increasing by 40 percent.
According to The Guardian, CV Villas’ managing director Tristan Symondson said, “We are confident that news of a vaccine will have a huge positive effect on customers’ confidence to travel. Prices haven’t inflated hugely yet, but holidays are starting to sell fast.”
Airlines and hotels are also reporting a rise in online traffic. British Airways has seen increased interest in the Maldives, Canary Islands, the Caribbean, New York, Florida, and Dubai, while Club Med saw a 25 percent rise in traffic and booking inquiries compared to the previous week.
While travel prices for next spring and summer are currently rather cheap, those numbers are likely to increase as demand rises. Derek Moore, deputy chair of the Specialist Travel Association, told The Guardian, “There’s likely to be less choice and fewer flights available than pre-pandemic, which may force prices up.”