Coronavirus crisis scuppers holiday plans for millions
Some 7.2 million people are currently making holiday plans this year, down 39% on last year’s figures, a survey by NBTC-NIPO Research has shown.
The probe, which was carried out among a representative sample of 11,000 people, confirmed that the coronavirus travel restrictions and related uncertainties have scuppered the usual holiday preparations of almost five million people.
The survey covered holidays of more than one week in the period between May and September. ‘In many cases people are thinking of going at a later date, so it’s not as they will definitely not go,’ NBTC- NIPO director Marieke Politiek said.
The biggest impact of the current crisis will be felt on the international holiday market, the survey found. Some five million people want to go abroad, a fall of 43% compared to last year with 7.2 million planning to holiday at home. The rest of the respondents said they had not decided yet.
‘Holidays are very important to the Dutch,’ Politiek said. We are known in Europe for our appetite for travelling. This survey shows that people really want to go on holiday, and although many holiday plans have been influenced by the crisis, almost half of the people said they would postpone and not cancel,’ she said.
People are researching how safe a destination is, something that was particularly mentioned by people who plan to holiday in the Netherlands, Politiek said.
For tourists wanting to head south much will depend on the government policies of popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.
In Spain, for example, where hotels are allowed to open from May 11, a number of hotel owners have already said that it will take at least until June to put in place prescribed hygiene measures. And some have said that with a 30% occupancy rate it makes no economic sense to open at all.
In the Netherlands campsites and holiday parks can reopen completely, including communal washrooms and toilet facilities from July 1.
Prime minister Mark Rutte said at his press conference on Wednesday night that foreign travel remains for essential journeys only. Any easing of this situation depends on other countries as well, he said.
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