People in Liverpool are flocking to their dream destinations as things are “looking hopeful” for the travel industry after a dire and worrying couple of years.
There is no doubt the travel industry has been heavily impacted as a result of the pandemic, with stringent rules in place for those wishing to travel abroad, and many choosing to avoid flying at all.
But as covid rules relax, people are once again putting travel back on the agenda.
READ MORE:Woman offered ’30 minutes of fun’ in return for LFC final tickets
We spoke to Manager Chris Cooper of Barrhead Travel on Allerton Road, who said after a busy start to the year, things are looking “hopeful” for the future.
He told the ECHO the top destinations people are wanting to visit are those “big holidays” such as Florida, New York, Barbados, the Maldives and Dubai and those “family holidays” are now returning for places such as Turkey.
He said: “We are now back to pre-pandemic levels. During the pandemic from a travel perspective, there’s always been that nervousness there.
“We were still taking bookings as not every customer felt the same. Some people wanted something to look forward to and we had customers booking so far in advance for 2023/24 and were booking bigger holidays.
“Florida became popular because people had more time to pay as did the Maldives but we found family holidays dipped and rightly so as you want to feel comfortable when booking a holiday for the family.”
Chris said after a dire few years, there is now a huge demand in Liverpool and bookings were up 369% year on year.
He said: “It’s been a great start to the year. We’re seeing a mixture of destinations and that consumer travel is back on everyone’s agenda once again.
“It was really frustrating at times having to keep self-updated with new restrictions but that’s what we did really well as a business, especially my store.
“We had clear communication with customers and made sure we were with them every step of the way which is what makes us stand out. There are people still waiting for refunds from cancelled holidays but our communication was really strong from the start.”
Back in 2020 when the world as we knew it came to a halt, Chris said there were challenges but his store stepped up to the mark and “adapted really well”.
Despite having to furlough some staff and work from home, Chris said he is proud of how things have been handled the last couple of years.
He added: “One thing we did well as a business was adapt quickly. We did see a decline in sales and it was worrying but we are really proud at how we looked after our customers.
“We had to furlough staff and work with the numbers to fit customer demand at that time. Now, I have all my original team back working.
“Now, they are telling their friends and family about us and after our best January, it makes us really hopeful for the travel industry and the future.
“I don’t really worry about what the future holds now because we really are armed with how to deal with things effectively and responding quicker. For me, I’m very much looking forward to the future.”
Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what’s on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here