High-street travel agency revenues for summer 2009 holidays are only down by 1% despite a double-digit fall in year-on-year bookings.
Latest industry statistics from Ascent MI's Leisure Travel Monitor show bookings for this summer (made up to and including December 31 2008) to be in decline across the high street, online and over the phone.
Ascent MI chief executive Sarah Smalley said: "There has been a steady decline in high-street bookings, except in September. Notwithstanding this, high-street sales are only 1% down in revenue."
LTM's figures show bookings did improve in December compared with October and November. Smalley added: "In the context of redundancies, it's significant and positive that bookings in all channels improved in December."
But she warned the next two months were critical. "Everyone will be waiting to see if the economic and confidence downturn has suppressed demand," she said.
The most popular destinations for this summer, based on pre-Christmas sales, were Florida, up by 13,000 passengers Turkey, up by 38,000 passengers and Egypt, up 9,000 passengers. All-inclusive sales were flat year-on-year in terms of volumes, while self-catering holidays declined.
Smalley said holidays perceived to offer value were enjoying higher sales.
She added: "In a challenging market there are still opportunities for holidays that are perceived to offer good value including all-inclusives. Customers are more value conscious."
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