Travel Counsellors has reported that more new bookings were made by its agents in the last seven days than throughout the month of April.
Nearly £6 million worth of bookings were made in the last week, with UK leisure bookings climbing to 70% of the figures achieved during the same period last year. More than £1m bookings were made on one day: Wednesday, November 25.
Global sales director Jim Eastwood said Travel Counsellors customers are “for the most part” falling into two groups – one making bookings within three weeks of departure, and others booking “far into summer 2021 on the premise that travel restrictions will be a distant memory due to the prevalence of a vaccine”.
He said: “We are supporting our business owners to take advantage of both short and long-term opportunities by reacting quickly to customer demand, and stay focused on helping travellers make the memories they’ve missed this year – from seeking sunnier climes to spending more time with family and friends.”
A recent survey saw Travel Counsellors customers cite ‘winter weather in the UK’ and the limit on seeing family members over Christmas time as ‘reasons to get away’.
December departures were the most popular booking made last week by Travel Counsellors agents, with the United Arab Emirates the top destination. January departure enquiries grew by 35% and were twice what they were two weeks ago.
Summer 2021 bookings increased by 46%, with the Mediterranean and US most popular. Customer enquiries were up 45% week on week. Corporate travel bookings increased by 30% compared to the previous week.
Travel Counsellors recently launched a marketing campaign, ’Twenty-one for ‘21’, highlighting 21 destinations to explore next year.
Eastwood said some customers are looking for “bucket-list destinations” next year while others are “preferring to travel closer to home”.
“The reoccurring theme, however, is the real requirement to book through an experienced travel professional, who will be available to handle any changes to travel arrangements throughout,” he said.
“Leisure customers and corporate clients who have been unable to travel this year have witnessed first-hand how their Travel Counsellor has looked after every element of their trip, taken care of all amendments, and in many cases rebooked their well-earned break or business trip for a later date.
“They’ve seen the true value of being able to rely on real, human advice, feel completely cared for and been able to take advantage of the knowledge base of a community of nearly 2,000 travel professionals.”
To encourage customers to rebook their travel arrangements with a Travel Counsellors agent, the company is running an incentive for three customers to win the cost of their holiday.
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