Crowds at Schiphol, more autumn holidays booked than before corona

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Where until recently the coronavirus put a big line through holiday plans, there is plenty of travel again this autumn. Travel organizations speak of a ‘catch-up effect’: “Travellers’ confidence is back and everyone seems to be looking forward to sun”, says TUI.

It is busy at Schiphol today. The airport expects to transport 2 million travelers in the coming weeks; three times as many as a year ago when travel was more difficult or impossible due to the corona pandemic.

This year, even more autumn holidays have been booked than in 2019, before the corona pandemic, say TUI and Sunweb. Popular are ‘sunny’ destinations, such as Crete, the Canary Islands and Curaçao.

Traveling as usual

Holidays are therefore celebrated ‘as usual’, but to immediately dampen the holiday joy: without a vaccination certificate or without meeting additional requirements you will not get very far. At almost all holiday destinations, a corona vaccination certificate is mandatory on arrival and additional requirements apply to travelers. These requirements differ per destination.

“On the spec, that is not yet in it”, says spokesperson Petra Kok of TUI. “Our starting point is that travelers can go there safely and comfortably. That is why we do not offer travel in countries where a quarantine obligation or strict curfews apply,” says Kok.

Suppose you are flying to the Canary Islands this autumn holiday. “You can’t think: I’ll pack my suitcase and I’ll go”, says Kok. In addition to a QR code, which you must bring with you digitally as well as printed out, you must complete a ‘passenger locator form’ required by the Spanish authorities. It states where you were on the plane and in which hotel you are staying. “We email our travelers about this, we send them a text message and even then some people arrive at Schiphol without a form. We just put an extra printer at our desk”, Kok jokes.

Curaçao is also a popular destination, just like the Canary Islands. In addition to a QR code, you need a valid corona test there to enter. Since the beginning of October, these tests are no longer reimbursed by the government. Travelers must therefore take a test themselves at a commercial organization. Cost for such a certificate? Between 70 and 95 euros, but you get a discount through a travel organizer.

Faraway places

Holidaymakers are also venturing to distant destinations again, says Eveline Collier of Talisman Travel, a relatively small travel agency that offers tailor-made long-distance trips. “People settle for more hassle, so they can travel.”

But popular places such as Bali or Thailand are not yet in the picture for Dutch holidaymakers. Bali has allowed tourists since this week, but not from the Netherlands. And you can travel to Thailand, but only if you quarantine first, Collier says. It is unclear when these countries will lift their travel restrictions. “That will have to do with the number of infections, the vaccination rate and the risk profile of the Netherlands.”

“You do have all kinds of creative initiatives. For example, as a tourist in Thailand you can first go to a ‘sandbox‘; a resort you can’t leave. Then you can move on.”

Moreover, according to Collier, there are plenty of other destinations. “Mexico, for example, is now very easy.” The country has an orange travel advice, but does not check corona proof on arrival, has no quarantine obligation and has no curfew. However, to return to the Netherlands, you must have a valid corona vaccination certificate, or a negative PCR test that is less than 48 hours old.

Sri Lanka is also open, you can go to the Maldives or to a large part of Africa. “On safari, the Masai simply come to take a PCR test on location before your return journey. Everyone gets creative to get tourism going again. A lot is possible: I will soon be going to South Africa and a colleague to Barbados It is now very quiet in all those places, an additional advantage for anyone who wants to travel a little differently.”

Not vaccinated

But traveling without a valid vaccination certificate is not easy. “You will then have to test”, according to TUI. “We don’t get many questions about traveling without vaccinations. Last summer that was another hot topic, but not anymore,” said Sunweb spokesperson Martine Langerak.

Not only the autumn holidays, but also bookings for the Christmas holidays are going through a storm. “In particular, winter sports holidays,” says Sunweb. That’s a really good news story: we are ahead of our best year ever (2019) in bookings. People have had to skip a year, so the run on winter sports holidays already started in the spring. Everyone has the feeling: it’s allowed again.”

Crowds at Schiphol, more autumn holidays booked than before corona
Source link Crowds at Schiphol, more autumn holidays booked than before corona

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