Summer holiday bookings have seen a significant increase year on year and have been made much earlier than usual, according to Premier Travel, which has a branch at Swaffham.
The East Anglian company has seen a 15 per cent increase year-on-year in retail sales across the business since the start of January. Some of its 17 branches across the region are 44 per cent up year-on-year compared to 2016.
Branches have been receiving enquiries for more off the wall destinations, including the firm’s biggest booking of more than £100k to Madagascar.
The Cambridgeshire-based company believes the strong start to the year is being driven by a desire by people across the region to book before more favoured destinations get snapped up, following a growing shift in demand for western Mediterranean destinations such as Spain and Portugal at the expense of previous popular holiday spots in northern Africa.
Paul Waters, Premier Travel director, said: “The early signs are really encouraging; as well as a strong year-on-year increase in January, our branches also received lots of enquiries on the phone and in store over the last couple of weeks and during the period between Christmas and new year.
“We’ve noted that customers have been making sure to book this year’s summer holiday much earlier than usual so they don’t miss out; they know what they want and are booking early as a result to ensure availability and the best deals. Bookings to western European countries like Spain and Portugal were in high demand last summer and we expect this trend to continue for 2017.”
“We’ve already seen traditional mainstream destinations perform extremely well for 2017, which we believe is down to the introduction of Jet2holidays’ new route from Stansted. Long haul destinations including Vietnam and Cambodia, Canada and South Africa are proving very popular, the latter because of the favourable exchange rate, and we expect this to continue.”
For further information about Premier Travel, visit the website: www.premier-travel.co.uk