The Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership, has released its booking trends which reveal consumer trends for October half term and 2024. The new data indicates that UK travellers are continuing to prioritise travel despite the cost-of-living crisis and are booking earlier than usual and choosing all-inclusive options to budget for the year ahead.
Advantage’s internal booking data shows that customers are booking their trips far in advance to manage their budget for the year ahead. Summer 2023 bookings were booked and departed within 12 weeks of the booking being made. This indicates a move away from the recent trend in late bookings that the travel industry has been experiencing since the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant changes to travel restrictions led to people preferring to leave holiday bookings to the last minute to avoid covid disruption and travel chaos.
Bookings for Summer 2024 have made up 54 percent of all 2024 bookings so far followed by 46 percent for Winter 2023/2024. Bookings for next summer are also up 67 percent. Nearly half of bookings made through the Advantage network departing next summer are for all-inclusive options, as travellers look to budget with the continuing squeeze on disposable income. The average length of stay for a holiday next year is 10 days.
Advantage is already seeing long haul destinations proving popular for Christmas with Mexico, Australia and Thailand taking the lead in bookings. 20 percent of all departures for 2024 are for long haul destinations with the USA standing out as the most popular taking 33 percent of the share followed by the Far East and Caribbean.
14 percent of all 2024 departures so far are for cruises with the Mediterranean and Caribbean proving to be particularly popular. The top selling destinations amongst Advantage travel agents for 2024 so far are Tenerife, Antalya, Costa Blanca, Majorca and Lanzarote.
Chief Commercial Officer of The Advantage Travel Partnership, Kelly Cookes, said: “It’s great to see the data reveal that consumers are looking to book holidays abroad in 2024 and that they are managing their budgets by booking early and opting for all-inclusive stays. This shows that holidays really are a necessity and something people are looking to prioritise in the year ahead. It’s interesting to see that British travellers are looking at alternatives to the traditional destinations and times they would normally travel in order to avoid disruption, it’s also a great opportunity to get out and explore and be more adventurous with their holiday choices. Our travel agent members are seeing strong bookings for October Half Term, and beyond which is a very positive sign that the industry is continuing to thrive.”