In the wake of the government’s shock move to shift Portugal to the Amber List, new research has hinted that customers are more likely to book breaks to Green List destinations.

Award-winning research consultancy BVA BDRC have recently found that UK consumers are three times as likely to book a resort break to a green list destination than before.

The investigation found that two in five adults are weighing up a holiday abroad in the next 12 months. More than half of that number (51%) would book a Green List destination.

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Brits are three-times as keen for green light getaways new research shows


Changes are afoot

With this research in mind, it’s no wonder that tourism chiefs have been up in arms following the government’s recent decisions regarding the destination classifications.

Travel Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Thursday that the government would be removing Portugal’s Green List status and moving them to Amber classification. This announcement was followed by a second bombshell for the travel industry when Mr Shapps also confirmed no other nations would be added to the Green List.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been heading up the government's Global Travel Taskforce

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been heading up the government’s Global Travel Taskforce


Strong reactions

Since the announcement travel leaders have come out with their messages of surprise at the government’s decision to move Portugal from the green to the Amber List.

EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren told Travel Weekly:

This shock decision is a huge blow to those currently in Portugal and those who have booked to be reunited with loved ones or take a break this summer.

When speaking about the government’s decision to not add any further countries to the green list, Mr Lundgren added:

To add no more countries to the green list when most of Europe’s infection rates are on a downward trend and many places [have] infection rates below that of the UK, such as the Balearics and Malta,  makes no sense.

Whereas, Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye preferred to focus on the message this move sent to the rest of the world stating:

Britain is the worst-performing economy in the G7 and in the week the Prime Minister hosts G7 leaders, he is sending a message that the UK will remain isolated from the rest of the world and closed to most of its G7 partners

Elsewhere, Portugal’s President of the National Health Council, Professor Henrique Barros, called the move an “overreation”. Stating that, despite stories of the Nepal (now known as the Delta) variant increasing in the country, it’s Coronavirus situation remained “relatively stable”.

In an announcement on Thursday, Mr Shapps confirmed the government had taken these measures as a precaution against the new Delta variant, explaining the actions were “to safeguard public health against variants of concern and protect our vaccine roll-out”.


People still crave clarity

Rounding off the research completed by BVA BDRC, two-thirds of those quizzed blamed government restrictions for their lack of booking confidence, while 23% confessed to not entirely understanding the traffic light system.

This confusion at advice is palpable in the market at the moment. However, travel companies have been keen to stress the government’s ‘don’t go’ advice when it comes to visiting Amber List destinations is just their interpretation of the classification.

In reality, consumers are free to make up their own minds as to whether they book trips or not.

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