Agents urged to push late availability

Agents urged to push late availability

Agents have been urged to consider late holiday sales coinciding with the start of the school summer holidays this weekend as a key business opportunity.

Hoseasons says that the trend towards late booking is now so pronounced that the first half of the school summer holidays should see agents pushing late availability.

The UK operator says that if latest reports that the Jet Stream is heading back north to bring better weather in August are true, there could be a “tidal wave of pent-up demand”.

Head of sales Zena Calderbank said: “Traditionally once the schools break up, the travel industry starts promoting autumn breaks.

“But this year we have seen incredibly late booking, and we believe there are still plenty of families who intend to take a break over the school holiday, but who haven’t booked yet.”

She added: “A combination of economic uncertainty and variable weather has meant that many people have held off booking until the very last minute.

“We believe that many families are waiting to see if the weather improves before they decide when they will go away – so there is potential to be selling peak summer breaks throughout the school holiday. This is particularly true for those families planning to holiday in the UK.

“Travel agents who use the next three weeks in particular to promote last minute getaways will find they are tapping into a potentially rich seam of business.”

Reports from MeteoGroup, the Press Association’s weather division, published yesterday suggest that the Jet Stream is finally heading back north, with the potential for more normal summer weather in August.

If this happens, it could trigger huge demand for UK holidays, said Calderbank.

“There is a tidal wave of pent-up demand which could be unleashed if these reports turn out to be justified and the sun comes out,” she said. “This will bring huge business opportunities for agents, so it’s important that they are prepared to take advantage.”

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