Summer 2017 saw a 7% increase in outbound bookings for the UK trade and a 12% rise in revenue year on year, defying fears of a downturn due to the lower value of the pound.
Figures from industry analyst GfK show family bookings rose 13% year on year, package bookings increased 8% and all-inclusive bookings 10%, with growth “in line with the market” in short, medium and long-haul bookings but a “decline in all durations over 12 nights”.
GfK also reported winter 2017-18 bookings up 5% to the end of October and early bookings for summer 2018 also up 5%. The pound has fallen in value against the euro by almost a fifth since August 2015. Yet Office for National Statistics figures show the number of outbound holidays increased 1% year on year in the three months to August following a 4% increase last year. Holiday departures for the year to August were up 3%.
GfK reported high street agency revenues for summer 2017 up 1% year on year compared with a 24% increase via direct channels. But the average selling price through high street agents was 22% higher than direct.
Tui was expected to reveal a 10% increase in group operating profit in full-year results on Wednesday, and to report UK summer bookings flat as the UK business pursued margin ahead of capacity growth.
Helen Caron, Tui UK and Ireland distribution and cruise director, told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast: “We took the decision to focus on the capacity we had, on holidays exclusive to Tui, where we could drive strong margins.”
For a full appraisal of the UK outbound market, see the Travel Weekly Insight Report 2017-18, available online at go.travelweekly.co.uk/insight18
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