UK's sunny summer sparks rush for domestic holidays

UK's sunny summer sparks rush for domestic holidays

Britain’s continued warm weather is resulting in unprecendented levels of last-minute enquiries and bookings for UK holidays, the trade has reported.

VisitEngland marketing director Alex Mawer said this summer’s UK weather had seen agency consortia switching promotional activity to domestic breaks.

“Our tracker has always shown more consumers booking holidays in England, but now we are seeing more of those holidays being booked through agents too. It’s really encouraging,” he said.

Advantage sales and marketing director Colin O’Neill said the consortium’s UK sales were 17% up in June and 4% up in July.

“Our performance for June and July has been really good for UK holidays,” he added.

Hoseasons has reported a 21% increase in website visits over the past four weeks on the same period last year, with 60% of bookings made in the last week of July for holidays within the next month. On August 5 its call centre experienced its highest number of calls in one day since 2009, with 25% of calls coming from agents.

Managing director Simon Altham said: “People have been booking even later this year.”

He added that late bookers recognised the need to be flexible, often trading down from seven nights to three or four.

Guided walking specialist HF Holidays reported its best July for 12 years for UK holidays. Head of marketing and development

Laura Sims said: “We’ve had a lot of late bookings, which really shows the impact of the weather.”

Bourne Leisure said strong demand for late bookings had been helped by more agents pushing UK holidays following VisitEngland’s GREAT campaign.

Head of retail sales Allan Lambert said: “We have enjoyed more support in the lates period. Requests for point-of-sale material and searches online are up.”

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