On the Beach drops after suspension extended

By Sean Farrell

Date: Thursday 13 May 2021

On the Beach drops after suspension extended

(Sharecast News) - On the Beach shares fell more than 10% after the online holiday retailer suspended sales for a further two months because of uncertainty created by government travel restrictions.
The company said its "off-sale period" for holidays would last until the end of August. It had planned to start selling holidays departing from the end of June but said the government's "traffic light" system for quarantine-free travel left customers with little confidence to book ahead.

The system grades countries green, amber or red for the return of foreign travel on 17 May. The government has said people should not travel to amber or red countries for leisure.

People returning from green list destinations will not have to quarantine when they get back but others will have to isolate for up to 10 days. Most countries were rated amber when the grades were unveiled and the government will review the gradings every three weeks.

On the Beach's chief executive Simon Cooper said the system gave holidaymakers little confidence to book beyond three weeks and that if they did so there was a high chance they would have to cancel. He said research showed lack of appetite for amber destinations and that On the Beach's reputation would suffer if holidays were disrupted.

Cooper said: "We have no interest in selling holidays that are unlikely to happen. There is too much uncertainty for us to take new bookings with confidence that they will go ahead, or for us to know the potential inconvenience and incremental costs of taking holidays to either current green or amber destinations.

On the Beach shares were down 10.5% to 386.55p at 11:49 BST. The company said it would review its plans after a government update expected at the end of May.


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