Holidaymakers from South Tyneside cast aside coronavirus concerns as bookings soar by 320% during August

Jet-set South Tyneside holidaymakers have cast aside coronavirus concerns in a bid to satisfy their beach bugs next year.
Westoe Travel director, Graeme Brett.Westoe Travel director, Graeme Brett.
Westoe Travel director, Graeme Brett.

They have sent demand for overseas vacations to European hotspots soaring by an estimated 320 per cent, compared to normal August booking levels.

Award-winning borough travel boss Graeme Brett said sunseekers whose current travel plans had been scrapped due to Covid-19 were at the head of the early booking queue.

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He confirmed they are taking advantage of deposits as low as £60 to secure spring and summer 2021 breaks to destinations which include Portugal, Spain, Greece and Turkey.

Graeme, who operates Westoe Travel, in Westoe Road, South Shields, said: “Bookings for next spring onwards have soared.

“Many people have seen their holiday plans for this year cancelled due to the coronavirus and they are desperate to get away as soon as they can.

“I’d estimate that bookings for next year to many overseas locations are up by 320 per cent on where they would be normally at this time of year.

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“And they are also going for something that bit better than they would usually, such as somewhere with a private pool.

“They have missed out this year and so are willing to pay a little extra to make up for it.”

Despite some holidaymakers still taking a chance on overseas breaks this year, home has proved to be where the heart is – with short UK breaks also rocketing.

Graeme has seen an almost 50 per cent increase in those choosing a ‘staycation’.

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Popular destinations at rock-bottom prices include city breaks to London, Edinburgh, York and Liverpool.

These can be snapped up for as little as £99 for a two-night train travel stay in a 4-star hotel, which can cost £250-a-night at other times.

Added Graeme: “Huge savings can be made on holidays in the UK.

“Lots of people are concerned about going overseas in case the rules change at short notice and they find they have to self-isolate on their return.

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“That can see them lose their jobs or lead to their bosses cutting their pay. Many are happy to get away in the UK.”

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