OLDER people are booking holidays to the Isle of Wight for later in 2021 — and the Covid vaccine is being attributed to the confidence shown in the UK staycation industry.

Holiday firms have attributed a spike in bookings from older people to the development of coronavirus vaccinations.

Figures pulled together by Press Association shows the most popular domestic destinations for the so-called 'grey pound' tourists in 2021 are the Isle of Wight, Cotswolds, York and the Lake District.

The Island remains 'closed' to visitors at the moment, due to lockdown restrictions — with reduced ferry sailings and accommodation being closed to tourists.

And the Isle of Wight Council and Visit Isle of Wight are not currently promoting tourism.

A spokesperson at Visit Isle of Wight said: "In line with the current situation, Visit Isle of Wight has paused its proactive marketing. We will promote holidays on the Island when the time is right and it is safe to do so."

Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc on the UK’s travel industry, with demand plummeting and thousands of jobs being lost, the launch of Covid-19 jabs has led some people to book long-awaited trips.

Tui, the UK’s largest tour operator, said half of bookings so far this year have been made by people aged over 50.

Managing director Andrew Flintham attributed it to the vaccine.

He said: “Customers long for a sunshine break later in summer, particularly in Greece, Turkey or the Balearics.

“And many Brits want to get away for longer this year, opting for 14, 10 or 11 nights instead of seven to make up for not having a holiday in 2020.”

National Express said its coach holiday business – which predominantly caters for pensioners – has seen bookings nearly triple for spring and summer trips compared with the same point last year.

It believes many customers are choosing UK breaks because of uncertainty around international travel and quarantine rules.