Families are driving growth in the market, reports Ian Taylor
GfK figures confirm family bookings are driving increased sales in the UK outbound market, with a growth rate this summer double the year‑on‑year growth in passenger bookings overall.
Analyst GfK reports season‑to‑date bookings for summer 2017 up 5% year on year to the end of January, but family bookings up 10%.
Much of the growth is for departures outside July and August – a trend which could conflict with an imminent Supreme Court ruling on a government appeal against a judgment halting fines on parents who take children out of school for term-time holidays.
GfK reports bookings for departures in May up 13% year on year, June up 15%, October up 19% and September up 25%.
The difference in price can be substantial, with GfK reporting an average selling price (ASP) for these four months £280 below that for July and August.
The analyst also reports strong growth in family demand for durations of seven to 12 nights – up 16% year on year, against 1% growth for 13 nights and longer and 3% growth for up to six nights.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of family packages booked for this summer are for all-inclusive holidays, compared with 59% of all package bookings for the season to date.
GfK business group director David Hope said: “Family bookings are driving the growth for summer 2017 package holidays, as families look
to secure the holiday of their choice.”
Referring to the growth outside July and August, he said: “Value is a key driver here. An average saving of £280 per person per holiday
Hope added: “The protection you get from a package holiday is having an influence. The reliability is a key
factor.” He suggested the growth of operator Jet2holidays in the north “is also having an impact”.
The growth this summer follows year-on-year growth of 13% in family bookings for summer 2016, when the overall rise in bookings was 4%. The current winter 2016-17 market has seen family bookings up 16% against an overall market up 10% to the end of January.
Peaks watch – Latest GfK bookings data
Week to January 28
-5% change in passengers booked on comparable week 2016
Season to date
+5% change in package bookings year on year
+6% change in all-inclusive bookings year on year
+7% % change in all-inclusive bookings year on year
Week ending January 28
+3% change in passengers booked on same week 2016
Season to date
+10% change in passengers booked year on year
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