Exaggerating travel numbers

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Travel agents are seemingly not seeing the big boost in travel bookings that the industry has has been shouting about.

How many people are booking holidays © Dan Sperrin

Who says so?

A group of travel agencies who have a Facebook site and a daily newsletter called Travel Gossip. It ran an unscientific poll and out of 150 travel agents that replied, “only a handful” said that they had seen a big boost.

Two thirds of the agencies – that is about a hundred – said that they had seen only a little increase and 33 said that they had taken just a few more bookings than previously.

That doesn’t sound anything like the claims of 400% increases and whatever that has been reported by the tour operators and airlines themselves.

Travel Gossip also reported in the same story that some agents had said that bookings were still 50% down compared with 2019, while one said Friday and Saturday (the days after the last travel update) were the quietest days they’d had this month.

Has there been exaggeration on behalf of some industry players?

The previous week the boss of the consortium called Advantage Travel Partnership which produces over £4.5bn of travel sales in a normal year was also critical of her industry.

Julia Lo Bue-Said said at a travel trade conference that the industry was seen by some in government as not in need of assistance because of headlines about bookings boosts announced by some airlines and tour operators.

As long ago as last March, Just about Travel, wondered about the validity of some percentage increases being put out by travel companies. In July and August we queried the validity of data again.

The combination of Julia Lo Bue-Saids comments and Travel Gossip seems to suggest the industry has been misleading us on what is really happening.

And why?

Probably to persuade us to book holidays because our peers are doing so and, at the same time not telling us actual, hard numbers.

The conclusion is that readers should make their own minds up about where to travel and to stop listening to what seems to be puff from some travel companies

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