Sunweb and Transavia receive green light for first pilot holiday to Rhodes

Sunweb and Transavia receive green light for first pilot holiday to Rhodes

Rotterdam, 23 March 2021 - As part of the government pilot ‘Safe and responsible travel during corona', Sunweb and Transavia have been given the green light for a trial holiday to Rhodes. This pilot is the first step towards a perspective on how the Dutch can enjoy beautiful holidays again this summer season. The pilot aims  to gain new (behavioural) insights and collect data on the conditions under which people can go on holiday safely and responsibly.

Together with trade association ANVR, the organizations have been working for some time to prepare for the first holiday pilot on April 12. The holiday includes an eight-day all-inclusive package holiday to the Greek island, Rhodes, operated by Sunweb and Transavia. Frank van Oostdam, director of ANVR, expresses his confidence in the results of this pilot. "The Dutch are eager to travel abroad again and equally, travel organizations are enthusiastic to provide those holidays. But it must be safe and 'corona proof’. I have full confidence that this initiative will demonstrate we can go on holiday safely and with complete peace of mind."

In a holiday bubble
In this pilot, travellers can enjoy their holiday in a "bubble" at the luxury resort Hotel Mitsis Grand Beach. This resort will be open exclusively to Sunweb and Transavia holidaymakers, meaning there will be no other guests present besides the hotel staff. All facilities at the resort will be open to ensure an entire holiday experience. In addition to respecting the existing corona measures, holidaymakers will not be allowed to leave the resort for the duration of their holiday. Throughout the  booking process, as well as during, before and after the holiday, all travellers will be in close contact with the tour operator, Sunweb. Travellers will be required to take a corona test prior to their holiday and present a negative PCR test when checking into the hotel. Before their return journey, a PCR test will again be taken at the hotel. All holiday makers will be required to quarantine for ten days upon their return home, with a new PCR test taken on day five.

Mattijs ten Brink, CEO of Sunweb Group: "Obviously I am pleased with the holiday pilot. The travel industry is craving for a concrete date on when we will be able to travel again. Holidays are high on everyone's wish list and the need for a holiday is only increasing. Holidays are the perfect time to recharge, unwind and put your hectic life on pause. That's why we think everyone deserves a great holiday. I remain confident that this is why we will be able to go on holiday again soon." Marcel de Nooijer, CEO of Transavia: "We are pleased to be able to do our 'bit' at this time to ensure we gain experience in the travel sector and learn through cooperation to put a positive spin on this drastic period.  Together with the ANVR, Corendon, TUI and Sunweb, this holiday travel pilot enables us to collect valuable data so that together we can make it possible to go on holiday safely again. And, of course, these insights will be shared with the entire sector so that all partners in the travel industry can make use of them. Together, we want nothing more than to give the entire sector and all Dutch people who want to travel again a positive outlook."

Register for the pilot

Interested people who crave for sun, sea and sand can register via the website from Wednesday, March 24, 18:00 hours. Based on all the registrations, Sunweb will manually select the 189 holidaymakers who meet the criteria set by the Dutch government for the target group. This target group consists of various age groups, excluding high-risk patients. The selected guests will then personally be contacted by Sunweb via telephone to discuss all information and guidelines.

The success of the pilot  
The holiday pilot will be considered a success  if the number of infections is zero. This  does not mean that travel restrictions can necessarily be relaxed as a result of such a low number of infections. But is the first step towards achieving this. The holiday pilot will only be carried out if it is considered safe by the RIVM. The government can ‘press’ the emergency button at any time if there are extremely high numbers of infections or signs of worrying variants at the destination. The pilot holiday will then be cancelled. The Sunweb and Transavia holiday pilot is being evaluated by an independent agency.  

About Sunweb Group

Sunweb Group is one of the largest travel operators in Europe with a turnover in excess of €700 million. The company is the driving force behind several brands operating in seven international markets: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany and France. Sunweb is the best-known brand of the group. Sunweb is a leading online operator of package holidays to sun and winter sports destinations.

Sunweb Group employs around 400 people and sends more than 250 tour guides and area managers to various holiday destinations to support its customers. Sunweb Group has a pan-European identity with tour operator operations in Zurich (head office), Rotterdam (back-office), Girona (software and web development) and several offices in Europe. The combination of a centralised organisation, unique self-contracted content and a strong online business model has resulted in more than one million satisfied customers for Sunweb Group each year. Sunweb Group was acquired by Triton Fund V in February 2019.


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