England’s exit from the UEFA European Football Championships and forecasts of a wash-out summer are giving a much-needed boost to holiday enquiry levels, according to the trade.
Price comparison site Holiday Discount Centre said it had seen a “noticeable pick up” in enquiry levels since the start of the week. England was knocked out of Euro 2012 on Sunday when it was defeated by Italy in the quarter finals.
Steve Campion, of holidaydiscountcentre.co.uk, said: “We monitor overall call volumes across agents advertising on the site and it [England’s defeat] certainly seems to have increased call volumes, but not yet affected conversion levels.
“There’s often a lag between enquiries and bookings. All we need now is for Andrew Murray to make an early exit from Wimbledon.”
Campion said holidaymakers may also want to escape the poor weather, with the Met Office predicting changeable conditions for the next month, including above average rainfall across the UK in general and less sunshine than average for July.
“It comes to a point where people say they are just going to go away. We may also find people go away for the Olympics,” added Campion.
Other agencies similarly reported a boost in enquiry levels since England’s defeat.
Germaine Martin, senior travel consultant at Hyde Barker Travel in Leicestershire, said: “We have had quite a few enquiries in the last couple of days, it was quiet but has been busier since England were knocked out.
“We’ve had a lot of enquiries for holidays within Europe – Sardinia and Corsica especially – and there has been an increase in people looking for last minute offers.”
Carrick Travel said there had been a “noticeable increase in footfall” to its branches this week, but managing director Tina Nason added:
“We are usually busier in the last week of the month so I don’t think we can put our surge in sales down to England not getting through.”
But some agencies said they were still waiting for a surge in sales. Lesley Pile, assistant manager of Travel Designers in Clapham, London, said:
“We thought it was going to be busier this week as a result of the football but we are now wondering if it will get busier after the games have all finished on Sunday; this might be the calm before the storm.”
Nicole Eaves, director of Garstang Travel, Preston, said: “Bookings have been steady but I would not say it has affected business this week. It might change at the weekend
Thomas Cook said sales were at expected levels but a spokeswoman added the weather was helping bookings. “With the bad weather set to continue we’re seeing a lot of interest from Brits now looking to escape to sunnier shores.”
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