Understanding holidaymakers

By | Category: Travel news

The Times says this morning that there is “turmoil” in the travel industry. It makes a good line but is it true?

Where will we holiday this year? Neither Thomas Cook nor TUI thought many of us would holiday at home last year. Image – Dan Sperrin

The newspaper makes its claim based on the fact that both TUI and Thomas Cook announced fairly depressing figures yesterday. But whereas Thomas Cook shares were hit a couple of months ago when it announced that it was a tough trading picture, TUI got masked after analysts concentrated on the announced growth and not that TUI was already seeing problems in its key Northern Europe (which includes the UK) markets.

We have heard that other travel companies have had problems such as Flybe and the German airline Germania went bust earlier this week, Norwegian is trying to raise more cash and a couple of other airlines are said to be up for sale.

But not all is gloom and doom.

The holiday comparison website, TravelSupermarket, says that there has been a 14% increase in searches for all-inclusive holidays which sounds as though there is optimism by bookers. But of course, TravelSupermarket is recording the number of people searching not necessarily booking.

It says that the most popular destinations on its site for Britons are Benidorm, (up 113%) Salou on the Costa Dorada (up 66%), the Costa Brava in general (up 66%) and Crete (up 44%).

On the Beach, the online travel agent and one of the big holiday suppliers is cautious but has turned in a better report than the old stalwarts of Thomas Cook and TUI. They have seen revenue jump by 20% in the last four months (Thomas Cook grew by 1% and TUI has yet to announce a figure)

What does it mean for us holidaymakers?

oDespite what TravelSupermarket says it looks as though we are not booking Spanish destinations like the Canaries, Balearics and the Coastas quite as we were and we are switching to the eastern Mediterranean. That is the view of TUI which seems to have been caught napping in having too many holidays to sell in Spain. It means Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and maybe Cyprus and Greece will do well because their holidays are more keenly priced. It could also mean that some holiday companies will have to unload holidays in Spain at cheaper prices in order to attract us there.

A few weeks into January it seemed like it was going to be a bumper year. Then sales slowed and shifted a little in where people were booking. Despite the assurance that Brexit wouldn’t interfere with holidays this ear it looks as though there may be a nervous affect.

But that isn’t the whole story as to why tour operators are suffering. The real reason may well be that some weren’t adept at spotting where and how we might holiday this year.

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