British holidaymakers struggling to get passports ahead of trips abroad are expected to lose £1.1billion due to holiday cancellations, a study claimed today.
The Passport Office has already warned travellers that they should apply 10 weeks before going on holiday – and families are set to lose around £2,400 each if they cannot travel without valid documentation.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) puts the blame on ‘inefficiencies’ in the government department and more demand after a return to international travel post-Covid.
In 2020 and 2021, more than five million people delayed applying for a renewal as they were not planning international travel in the midst of the pandemic.
But now that international travel is back to normal, the number of people applying for passport renewals has surged and just under one million holidaymakers are at risk due to the delays.
It comes as the Passport Renewal website also crashed last week and was experiencing issues this morning. The urgent passport service also would not let you book an appointment online or by telephone today.
The CEBR said it worked out the data using the VisitBritain Covid-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker which ‘shows that more than two in five are planning an overseas trip in the coming 12 months’.
It added: ‘Assuming that passport holders are somewhat more likely to have travel plans than the population as a whole and that a quarter of those will have made a booking leaves just under one million holiday makers at risk due to the delays.’
‘Multiplying the resulting number of passports at risk with the average cost for a family holiday of around £2,400 suggests a cumulative loss of over £1.1 billion.’