UK bookings for summer 2009 were 12% down on 2008 at the end of February, says figures from research company GfK Ascent MI's Leisure Travel Monitor.
The 12% drop in summer 2009 bookings covers seat and accommodation-only as well as packages. High street shops are down 10%, with direct bookings 16% down.
The disconnect between the drop from shops and direct is a sign that, despite the economic downturn, customers are interested in factors other than price.
"The average selling price for direct is lower than what the high street is charging, so we think that customers value the reassurance from a face-to-face transaction with an agent," said Smalley.
Direct bookings cover agent and operator call centres and websites.
Figures for package holidays only show an overall drop of 16%. Again, shops are seeing a 10% drop in volumes with direct bookings 25% lower than last year.
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