Spain’s popularity among British package holidaymakers is showing no signs of abating, the destination’s growth more than double that of this summer’s next big mover Greece.
According to official Gfk Leisure Travel Monitor figures for the UK market, Spain was up by 270,000 passengers year-on-year for summer 2017 as of the week to June 24.
Trailing by some distance in second spot was Greece which has seen a rebound from the problems associated with the Syrian refugee crisis two summers ago to be up by 95,600 passengers.
Other growing destinations include the Caribbean, Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal. Marginal growth has been seen by the Cape Verde Islands, Portugal, Mexico and Italy.
In contrast, the Gfk data shows Canada, France, Malta, and the United Arab Emirates to be down on last year.
Understandably, given the fact that Sharm el Sheikh airport continues to be closed to UK carriers, Egypt has seen the third biggest decline.
Turkey, which has been the big loser in recent years due to terrorism fears, remains 70,000 passengers down on last year, despite reports of signs of a recent turn around in fortunes.
More surprisingly, the US is suffering the second biggest decline of around 23,000 passengers as it struggles to overcome challenges like sterling’s slump against the pound and the unquantifiable “Trump effect”.
Analysis of US bookings dating back to the US election last November shows bookings were flat and Average Selling Prices (ASP) up £21 in the week before the election on November 8.
In the immediate aftermath of the election passenger numbers plummeted 16% although ASP remained marginally up. Cumulatively, season to date, the US is 9% down for passengers and £15 up for ASP.
Year-on-year weekly analysis of all bookings monitored by GFK since the beginning of the year reveals nine weeks of consecutive growth in passenger numbers booking summer 2017 holidays.
The four weeks from week ending June 24 all saw more than 5% growth, with week ending June 3 seeing the highest rise of the year so far of 17%.
High growth rates were seen in March, but April was generally in negative territory with three consecutive weeks of declines.
The biggest weekly fall same for the week ending January 7, which was down 8%, indicating the peak selling period got off to a slow start. It was one of two weeks in January that saw a decline.
Week on week growth on ASPs has generally declined over the year from January when they were over £30 and up to in the week ending January 14 £63 up.
The ASP differential has been positive all year, but dropped to just £3 at the beginning of March but have been over £20 for the last four weeks.
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