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When Hotels Recover, Vaxxed-Up Baby Boomers Will Be Leading The Charge

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The return of global travel and the recovery of the hotel real estate sector will be slow and patchy, but travel company Tui gave an insight into who might be in the vanguard, certainly in the UK — over 50s first in the line to get vaccines. 

The UK-based packaged holiday and travel company said last week that it had seen a spike in reservations from people over 50 years old, who made up more than half of all bookings the company had received since the end of last year. 

“We’re seeing more interest in holidays from an age group that wasn’t coming through before, with the over 50s starting to book, we assume, on the back to the positive vaccine news,” Tui UK Managing Director Andrew Flintham said in a statement. 

The UK began rolling out vaccines at the end of last year, and older age groups, the medically vulnerable and front-line health workers are receiving the vaccine first. 

Those 70 and above are due to be vaccinated by mid-February, and those from 50 to 70 will follow in the months afterward. Confident that they will have received their shots by the time the summer rolls around, they are booking trips away, with Greece, Turkey and Spain’s Balearic islands popular destinations, Tui added. 

Whether a first wave of over 50s confident enough to hit the breakfast buffet will be enough to bolster the moribund hotel market remains to be seen. The global drop in travel has hit the sector hard, and borrowers in the UK and U.S. are breaching covenants as income dries up.