Wednesday, 29 January 2014 2:19 PM
ABTA – The Travel Association reveals that ABTA Members are reporting strong early bookings for summer 2014 with some companies reporting sales up more than 10 per cent year on year. Following weeks of bad weather, with the UK battered by a series of storms, latest reports indicate that British holidaymakers are very much looking forward to the summer.
The positive start to 2014 also indicates British holidaymakers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of booking early: research conducted at the end of the 2013 summer holidays shows an increasing number of people said they had booked their holiday further in advance that year compared to 2012.
Across all holidays, just over a quarter (27 per cent) of consumers said they booked further in advance, half (53 per cent) booked at the same time and one in five (20 per cent) said they had left it later, booking closer to the departure date. Younger travellers (16-24 year olds) are the most likely to book in advance, almost half (48%) booked their holiday further in advance in 2013 and early booking was also favoured by people with young families, 41 per cent of whom booked further in advance.
Better deals/cheaper prices is the main motivator for booking early, over six in ten (62 per cent) cited this as their reason, and ABTA Members have reported that early booking offers such as free child places and low deposit schemes have proved popular. Nearly half (49 per cent) booked in advance for better availability, while better choice (33 per cent) and getting time off work (26 per cent) were also popular reasons.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “We are cautiously optimistic about holiday bookings in 2014 so it’s very encouraging to see a strong start to the year and we are also pleased that more consumers appear to understand why it’s important to book early. But with one in five people leaving it later to book in 2013, it’s important that we get the message out about the benefits of booking early: the travel industry traditionally launches some of its best deals at this time of year and holidaymakers who book early can take advantage of these, as well as getting greater choice and availability. These benefits are even more pronounced for families where availability of child places for the summer months can fill up quickly.”