The Holiday Booking Rush Begins

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

It looks as though those of us who haven’t booked holidays are finally getting around to it. Over the weekend, travel agents that we’ve spoken to saw more customers than they expected. Last minute bookings seem to be the theme this year again.
According to ABTA, there has been a bounce for holidays in Spain and Portugal. And after the demonstrations in Greece a couple of weeks ago, bookings there are up slightly as well. It looks as though the publicity made a smaller impact on people than many thought they might.
There are still holidays available to Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt at bargain prices but in other popular resorts in many countries, many have sold out. In Turkey for example, you won’t find many last minute discounts and Malta is also pretty full. The Algarve in Portugal is as busy as you might expect and Italy doesn’t have many discounts. We had an e-mail from a tour operator promoting holidays in Venice and the Lido and the prices didn’t appeal one bit. Obviously they have fairly healthy bookings already and are just trying to clear the last remaining ones.
If you are still planning on booking a summer break overseas then the best opportunities for a deal might be by being flexible and being able to travel within a couple of days. Holidays towards the very end of August look a possible bargain but we are still a bit too far away to be sure that they will occur. Because ABTA books few domestic holidays it is hard to gauge how well the home countries are doing yet.

The rise and rise in the popularity of cruising continues and ABTA estimates that it is up by 5% in just those cruising from the UK. Over all, ABTA says quoting from GfK-Ascent MI’s regular research, short haul holiday bookings are up 9% this year over last year.
Why?
There could be any number of factors. People who had staycations last year but have opted for an overseas break this year. Although the pound isn’t doing well against many currencies, the euro hasn’t done well either in the last year or so. That helps as it is in the euro zone where the upturn is being seen. ABTA also says that competitive pricing from hoteliers has helped as has the increase in all-inclusive holidays.

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