Travel Counsellors has reported a 20% increase in bookings this month despite the heatwave.
Sales director Malcolm Hingley disputed a claim by many that the heatwave had a devastating impact on the lates sales market.
Between July 8 and July 24 – when the weather peaked at 32°C – the company said it saw a 20% increase in bookings year on year for holidays in July and August.
Hingley told Travel Weekly that the company had reported record months for each month of this year. He also said the heatwave had not stopped people booking late getaways.
“We are definitely on track for a record year,” he said. “We had a record year last year and the year before too.
“The lates market is going really well for us. We were surprised to see some of the comments in the daily press about others saying the lates market wasn’t going well.
“In June when we had weather which was terrible, we saw a 25% increase in bookings compared to the same period last year. These were people looking to go on holiday within the next eight weeks.
“As a whole for the year we are up about 15% or 16% on last year’s bookings, so from our point of view things are going very well.”
Julia Lo Bue-Said, managing director of Advantage, previously told members not to write off the lates market.
She said: “There has been a softening of the market after a good six months and agents have to work that little bit harder.
“What we have done is put a real focus on heatwave Britain. Customers may not be able to go abroad, but maybe we can help service them for a stay-at-home holiday.”
The original claim of a slump of 20% in sales during the first week of the heatwave came from On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott who said it related to the online sector and was as marked a decline as that seen during the Icelandic ash cloud crisis of 2010.
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