On The Beach extends off-sale period due to traffic light system confusion

On the Beach Group, the Cheadle-based online retailer for beach holidays, has extended its off-sale period for holidays due to a current lack of demand from consumers.

It has extended the period from June 30, to August 31, 2021, after the announcement earlier this week on the Government’s traffic light system for leisure travel, where most destinations have been classified Amber.

The decision is based on consumer feedback from both research and search/sales data, showing a market wide lack of appetite for booking Amber destinations, as well as the likely loss of customer goodwill for holidays that might be booked only to be cancelled or re-arranged.

This position will be reviewed following the Government’s update on travel and associated restrictions which is expected to be released at the end of May.

On the Beach said it will monitor the situation closely, and return to selling summer 2021 beach holidays as soon as there is more certainty that new holidays booked will take place without disruption or cancellation, and that the traffic light requirements can be managed by authorities and consumers alike.

Chief executive, Simon Cooper, said: “There’s nothing we like more than sending people on holiday, particularly after the year that everyone has been through.

“But in the same way that 85% of consumers don’t want to book travel to Red or Amber destinations because there is no guarantee they will turn Green in time for their holiday, equally there is every possibility destinations designated Green will turn Amber or Red prior to customers’ departure.

“Given this, there is too much uncertainty for us to take new bookings with confidence that they will go ahead, or for us to know the potential inconvenience and incremental costs of taking holidays to either current Green or Amber destinations.”

He added: “This is a temporary measure that we will review in line with the next government announcement. In the meantime, we will focus our efforts in helping and advising our customers who already have bookings of their options to either still go on their holiday, amend their holiday or, where the holiday is cancelled, refunding them in cash within 14 days.

“We are committed to putting the interests of consumers first, and in doing so, doing the right thing for the travel industry and our suppliers, too.”