Upturn in summer bookings gathers pace

Upturn in summer bookings gathers pace

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Summer 2015 bookings continue to outpace sales a year ago, according to industry analyst GfK.

Year-on-year bookings for the week to February 14 were 7% up, while the previous week they were 3% higher. Summer 2015 sales for the season to date remained 3% up year-on-year to the end of last week.

The upturn began in mid-January following a slow start to 2015. GfK reported a 4% rise in year-on-year bookings in the final week of the month following a 2% increase the preceding week. This compared with year-on-year declines of 4% and 1% in the first two weeks of 2015.

Year-on-year package bookings in the week to February 14 were up 8% and family bookings up 14%. Bookings to eurozone countries also rose 8%, with a £3 increase in the average selling price despite the fall in the euro’s value.

The improvement follows a 4% rise in the number of outbound holidays from Britain last year. Recent Office for National Statistics figures showed holiday departures in 2014 hit 39 million for the first time since 2008.

Travel Designers director Nick Harding revealed he had scaled back marketing on Google and Facebook, saying: “I wondered whether we would cope. We’re cutting back on marketing so we can reduce the number of enquiries. There is only so much we can do.”

Advantage Travel Partnership commercial head John Sullivan said: “The market seems to have gathered momentum.”

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