Lastminute.com says it saw a rise of up to 150% in searches days before quarantine was rumoured to be lifting.
Searches for Spain and Greece experienced a 146% and 149% jump between the first and final weeks of June, with France and Italy experiencing a 138% and 75% rise respectively.
Overall the percentage of holiday bookings made in June on lastminute.com was only 4% less than compared with June 2019.
The online travel agent has reported an ‘enormous uptick’ in international holiday searches from more adventurous travellers throughout the month, peaking in the past week.
MD Andrea Bertoli said now the the go-ahead from the FCO has been given it expects ‘lookers to turn to bookers’.
Bookings for January and February breaks are seeing a bigger share than normally expected for June, suggesting some customers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach.
LM Group CEO Marco Corradino said: “Europe usually generates £300bn a year from international tourism, so the ban on international travel has come as a huge blow to their economies, as well as our own. So to see such a huge rise in bookings in the past week is fantastic, as an influx of tourists from July will bring with it a much needed cash injection, and also help to ensure the long term survival of holiday resorts across the continent. “
Meanwhile, data from eDreams ODIGEO showed Greece saw the highest increase in searches by UK travellers in the first 24 hours after possible air bridges were announced on Friday June 26.
France saw a rebound in searches of 68%, Spain 50% and Italy 49% – all before the relaxation of travel restrictions was actually confirmed.
According to the online travel company, 36% of UK consumers are looking for a holiday with a planned departure of more than 60 days’ time, while 23% are looking to travel within 6-21 days.
Chief travel officer Pablo Caspers said: “This is excellent news, not just for travel and tourism businesses but also for consumers and these countries’ economies.
“There is a huge amount of pent up demand from holidaymakers, now the English public has the green light from government to book their getaways to select destinations with confidence we are likely to see a spike in bookings to the countries English residents will not need to quarantine upon their return.
“We advise all of our customers to check the guidelines for travellers set out by the respective governments of each destination they are visiting to ensure they adhere to each country’s individual quarantine guidelines upon their arrival to their chosen holiday destination.
“Spain and France have historically been favoured by UK travellers and the recent restrictions on travel have not dampened demand to visit these countries.”