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Peak booking season gets off to a strong start

Booking SeasonThe peak booking season appears to have got off to a healthy start with some independent agency groups reporting a strong demand from Brits looking for so-called ‘safe’ destinations such as Spain, the Caribbean and the US.

As the busiest booking period of the year gets underway, it also seems that holidaymaker are willing to pay a little extra, as a rise in average selling prices has also been noted as customers look to trade up for holidays in further afield long-haul flight destinations.

Agency reports decline in mid-haul bookings

Miles Morgan Travel, based in Gloucestershire, said last week's sales were up 10% on the same time last year and Midcounties’ Co-operative Travel Consortium reported a similar increase of 8%.

However, Midcounties Co-operative Travel Group general manager Alistair Rowland said: “The lack of Egypt and Turkey volume is hurting mid-haul bookings, with customers paying more for Spain or stretching themselves to go to the Caribbean or Florida.”

In fact the company's bookings through shops was actually 5% down last week but higher selling prices and a 15% increase in homeworking division sales meant sales revenue held up.

Extremely busy homeworkers

Elsewhere Hays Travel's 135 shops and 200-plus homeworkers were “extremely busy” and saw average selling prices 8% higher than last year.

Jane Schumm, the company's retail and training director, said: “Turn-of-year trading started positively, with all our regional sales managers reporting December 29 to be a busy day.”

In Kent and Sussex, Baldwins Travel reported record sales through its seven shops, with joint managing director Nick Marks commenting: “We’ve sold holidays across the board – cruise, Disneyland, ski, everything. It was our best January 2 ever."

“People held off a little with the problems at the end of last year, but other news has taken over and they now think it’s time to book,” he added.

If you are booking this year's holiday now, don't forget to get your Long-Haul Travel Insurance sorted out well in advance too.

Date Created: 08 January 2016

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