As the travel restrictions get canceled day by day, the result of that is Estonians have started to purchase package tours, but the selection is still a bit poor. Bad weather is one of the reasons why Estonians have decided to travel abroad.
A number of desired destinations for Estonian people are still closed but the urge to travel is continually huge, in spite of the latest restrictions and the spread of coronavirus. As a result of that, people buy package tours where they are allowed to travel.
If passengers like to travel to Bulgaria, they need to stay in quarantine for 14 days. People are currently banned from travelling to Turkey. Passengers are allowed to fly to Crete and travel agencies say that this is the most popular destination so far.
Vladmir Jutt, a travel consultant for private and business clients of Tez Tours, told ERR that the tours of Crete are already sold out until July 25. "There are a lot of people who wish to travel and obviously a number of people who just cannot live without traveling – they have been waiting for at least four months. Everybody wishes to be under the sun and swim in the sea," Jutt added.
He confirms that people purchased package tours even then when the temperature in Estonia was very high. It means that Estonians do not only buy the tours to avoid bad holiday weather although the current weather situation has put them to purchase packages even more.
Jutt adds that people primarily buy the packages for the summer holidays.
Travel agents Estravel announced that they also sold out next week's tours in Crete. Airi Ilisson, the managing director of Estravel, said: "First vacant seats are available for departure on July 25. It means that people who want to get tickets for this date, they need to be quick."
No significant conclusions can be drawn from the sales figures as the package tours came on sale on July 1. Ilisson said: "People are still interested in buying the packages and the number of bookings in the coming months shows a growing tendency. In addition to that, canceling the restrictions has put the passengers into a debate whether the bad weather motivates them to travel or not. The rainy weather increases the number of passengers wanting to travel somewhere where it is sunny and warm."
She admits that the number of package tours has been quite modest: "Currently there are departures to Crete happening twice a day which are very popular. Several passengers have bought trips in advance – either for this autumn and winter or next year's summer."
Olev Riisberg, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at Novatours, told ERR that trips are currently booked for the second half of the summer season and for the upcoming winter season starting in October. In addition to that, people have already made travel plans for next summer, which starts in April.
He says that the coronavirus pandemic has affected the restrictions to change more flexible. Riisberg adds: "The package tour includes an additional service for changing travel plans and the possibility to change passengers' information with no additional cost."
New destinations: resorts in Latvia and Lithuania
Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria are still the most popular destinations where people like traveling. Greece is the only country from the lists that has no restrictions right now. As a result of that, Novatours has expanded its package tour selection – including Latvian and Lithuanian resorts – where the travel agency offers hotel packages, but the passengers need to have their own transport.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein