How was it for you?

By | Category: Travel news
Cart driver in Tunisia waving

Tunisia gave a freindly wave to Britons and we flocked there over the summer

I suspect that neither Thomas Cook nor TUI are too happy with us – their customers and potential customers.

The reason is that we didn’t book holidays when the two giants thought we would and then some of us opted not to holiday abroad at all but to soak up the British sunshine. The trouble is that potential holidaymakers in other countries where the duo have offices did the same as well.

Those that didn’t stay at home were able to buy cheaper holidays in peak months, a time when discounting is unusual.

Those who didn’t book in June and July but watched the World Cup were expected to book and become one of the many in the “lates” market. When that didn’t happen both tried to discount holiday offers in August and September but that meant that they had to bite into their profit margins.

poster of Turkey saying expect more

… Turkey was cheaper alternative to eurozone countries

So although Thomas Cook sold 12% more holidays in the summer, prices were 5% lower. (good news for us holidaymakers) TUI business was up by only 2% in the business region that includes the UK and Ireland.

Thomas Cook said that there was a return in popularity of holidays to Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Greece. TUI highlighted the same places when they announced their latest information this morning but also mentioned Bulgaria as an increasingly popular destination for them.

Greece is a bit of a surprise. as a member of the eurozone, holidaymakers might have been expected to steer clear since it would cost more. But Greek hotel chains and destinations did deals and that was why we holidayed there. Can they do the same next year as they face Brexit?

It has meant that Spain and maybe Portugal and Italy might have seen fewer tourists than they were hoping. Spain has reaped the benefit of instability and other problems in Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia so it is no surprise that it didn’t have as good a summer as it had in 2017. On the other hand Tunisia and Egypt must be delighted with the return of British holidaymakers and both would expect even greater numbers next year. According to TUI, “demand for Spain is normalising from the very high levels seen in recent years,” which I take to mean that fewer people booked a Spanish holiday with the company.

These three were also helped with the slide of the pound against the euro making it more expensive for Britons  in familiar destinations. The Turkish, Tunisian and Egyptian countries offered much better deals for Britons.

…as was Egypt.

Next summer is a different matter. Who names what will happen as the holiday period will be after Brexit. There will be no changes in holidaying in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey all of which are outside the EU. But as for Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Croatia and the other nineteen countries they may see far fewer of us holidaying there. They are in the dark as much as we are but, from a tourism int-of-view, they must be hoping that a deal can be quickly done between the EU and the UK so they can plan their summers.

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