How many people are heading to “Orange List” vacation destinations this summer?


The independent calculates that 5 million UK holidaymakers are currently booked to travel abroad to ‘orange list’ destinations for the summer.

The calculation is based on information released last week by Tui, Europe’s largest package holiday company, Tui, that it has 2.6 million forward bookings for the summer of 2021.

In 2019, one in five Tui stays (20.3%) were sold in the UK. This is derived from the 5.5 million passengers under the Atol license in 2019, and the 27 million total vacations that the Anglo-German company has sold.

If the same proportion applies in 2021, that means 520,000 forward bookings from UK holidaymakers.

Also in 2019, out of a total of 59 million holidays abroad by Britons (as calculated by the ONS), 5.5 million were with Tui – which means that for every Tui stay, 9 , 7 others were sold by other companies (or assembled by travelers).

Apply the factor to Tui’s current bookings, The independent estimates that there are 5.56 million term bookings for the summer of 2021 – defined as the travel industry’s standard season, ending in late October.

A higher than normal number of such trips will be on Portugal’s ‘green list‘, which typically accounts for just over 4 percent of the total overseas holiday market from the UK.

Assuming that this figure has doubled to 8%, around 450,000 people are booked in Portugal.

A few tens of thousands will be represented by Iceland and Gibraltar, the only other viable destinations on the green list.

The “red list” countries – notably the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, India and Brazil – attract relatively low numbers of visitors in summer, currently numbering perhaps around 100,000; many are reserved for Dubai.

The 5 million figure is based on the assumption that travel habits are similar to 2019, but with numbers much lower than in summer 2021.

They may turn out to be different. For example, the distribution between destinations can change dramatically, with the number of tourists attracted to Portugal increasing more sharply than expected.

The types of vacations can also change significantly: will more travelers take the car on Eurotunnel because this is seen as a reduction in Covid risks and also as a potential means of escape if necessary? Or will they choose more packages because people have learned more about the consumer protection that comes with a proper package holiday?

At the end of the summer, we’ll find out. For now, it’s clear that millions of people have made a financial commitment to vacations in destinations that are currently on the orange.

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