Orders for Hays Travel “increased”, but this was not a “tidal wave” of sales after quarantine rules were imposed.

John Hayes, managing director of the largest independent agent chain in the UK, said that the chain shop’s daily turnover was around 40-50% of the turnover observed on the same day last year.

“We think this is pretty good considering where we are,” he told TTG. “We hope for a big jump, but it’s not the tidal wave some people predict.

“Trade is good but not better. We believe the delay and confusion surrounding the lifting of restrictions have had an impact.”

Hayes said that after making a “strange new reservation” in May, sales rose “steadily” in June and July.

“We have many people who have used their refunds to come back to us and book more holidays,” added Hayes.

Hays has opened most of its 600 stores in the UK in the past three weeks, although there are some restrictions on opening stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“I think we have all the shops we can open,” he added. “We did it softly and everyone wants to come back. This works really well.”

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