Wowcher’s promotion of mystery holiday packages acts as an enticing prospect for UK travelers. However, on-going international travel restrictions could hinder the chances success.

The UK recently launched its traffic light system whereby countries are graded from ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’, ranging from where there is no need to quarantine/self-isolate on return, to an outright travel ban. As of 11 May 2021, only 12 countries are classed as ‘green’, but this list may change in the coming months. The prospect of ‘mystery holiday packages’ sounds enticing to those who missed out on traveling during 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but the volatility of the traffic light system means its relaunch could have come too soon as travelers may deem this concept as too risky.

An enticing prospect with its downsides

Wowcher is an e-commerce deal site in the UK and it recently relaunched its ‘Mystery Holiday deal’ whereby customers can pay from £99 (US$139) for a holiday destination at random over 2021 to 2022. This offer applies to various European city-break destinations, typical sun and beach resorts and long-haul locations such as Thailand and Antigua. With many UK travelers looking to add some excitement in to their lives, the prospect of a surprise holiday could be enticing.

However, many of the countries on Wowcher’s list of destinations are on the ‘amber’ list, where self-isolation followed by a series of tests will be required on return to the UK. Quarantine requirements (58%) and travel restrictions (55%) are the top two deterrents for travelers right now according to a live GlobalData poll*. The relaunch of this offer from Wowcher comes at a time when UK travelers are still extremely cautious around the potential of having quarantine on return, or restrictions creating last-minute cancellations. For these reasons, mystery holiday packages could fail to take off in the near future.

Right concept, wrong time

It is known news that millions of travelers worldwide missed out on international trips across 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore demand for booking a much-needed trip is high. Mystery holiday packages are exciting, and the concept of these trips meets the emerging traveler need of novel experiences, after over a year of being restricted to domestic travel.

However, with international travel still looking to be relatively restricted this summer and only a handful of countries making it on to the UK’s green list, Wowcher’s mystery holiday packages could be shunned in the short-term.

* GlobalData’s poll – live since 17th November 2020 – 1,343 respondents

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