While international travel is off the agenda for Aussies at present, experts have warned future European summer holidays may cost more for the next three years due to the coronavirus crisis.
While it’s hoped prices will eventually return to pre-pandemic levels, flights and hotels may end up being much pricier until 2023.
Kuoni’s UK Managing Director Derek Jones told Travel Weekly that while hotels will offer low prices to encourage bookings initially, prices will increase there after.
“I think you might see some really good offers in the marketplace right through to the middle of next year, at least,” he explained.
“I think we will see capacity constrained over the next maybe two, three years, which inevitably is going to mean the prices will start to move as they yield off lower capacities.”
Out of the UK, airlines and tour operators are already offering cheap deals for later this year – with popular budget airline easyJet opening flights for 2021.
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Closer to home, while international trips are set to be a while off yet, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce hinted at domestic flight bargains when the country opens borders once again.
Mr Joyce pointed to flights from as little as $19 post-pandemic between Melbourne and Sydney, as a way of getting domestic tourism moving again.
Other travel experts, however, have expressed concerns over the cost of future holidays, with expectations of doubling prices for some locations.
Martyn James, from UK consumer website Resolver, said “it’s likely the cost of overseas package deals will double,” adding that guests will also get less for their money with limits on buffets and swimming pool access.
Aviation expert Matt Purton added the price of international flights from ports around the world could rise by 30 per cent after lockdown, while Paul Charles, from The PC Agency travel consultancy, said holiday prices will rise as “airlines will have to make more money from their economy passengers” as fewer will travel for business purposes.
There is some good news, however. Mr Jones predicts prices will go back to pre-pandemic levels with cheap holidays available one day.
“I don’t see a fundamental shift in the position of holidays in terms of value, I think it will level back to something similar to the position we’re in today,” he said.
He also said that while “getting there will be more expensive,” meaning flights and cruises might cost more, properties in tourist destinations are likely to offer cheap prices with “land prices once you’re there being slightly lower”.
Holidays abroad are unlikely to start again soon for Australians, despite the push for a trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
Domestic travel will be the first step in Australia’s tourism recovery plan, with both NSW and Victoria allowing for intrastate recreational travel from June 1.
In the UK, the government still advises against all non-essential travel, which isn’t likely to change in the upcoming months.
Countries such as Portugal and Greece are looking into ways to allow British citizens to return, such as “air bridges” which would let international travellers avoid the 14-day quarantine.
Yet with borders still closed and a mandatory two-week quarantine when returning to the UK from abroad, staycations may be the only holidays heading into their summer period.
The UK government also warned that plans, revealed by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, to allow people to fly between countries where the spread of the virus is low, are not going to be put into practice anytime soon.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission