Given the precarious politico-economic situation, it might be surprising to hear that data on UK holiday bookings made via the Traveltek platform show a modest yet positive increase in both outbound-booking quantity and value in the first half of 2019, compared to 2018.
More than two million bookings are made via the Traveltek platform each year, providing considerable opportunity to gauge travel trends within the industry, both globally and per specific region.
Given the current climate impacting the UK travel industry, we took a deep-dive into booking trends Year-on-Year to understand what effect this has had on the overall movement within the UK leisure travel market. Having analysed the data, we found that the industry has so far proven resilient.
Looking at specific booking types, we found that there has been a clear rise in the number of package bookings with 10% more reservations made via the platform in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period of the previous year. This may well be linked to the recent introduction of the Package Travel Regulations which offer more security for customers than any other booking type and also shows a clear desire for protection in a volatile environment.
In addition to an increase in package bookings, the UK cruise market has shown itself to be particularly buoyant, with a growth in bookings of around 15% v 2018. Year-on-year bookings have been ahead for every single month in the first half of 2019.
Significantly, the average UK cruise booking value has also increased by almost 40%, from an average of £3,800 to £5,200. This boost may be due to clients on the Traveltek Platform being able to drive cruise package sales using the dynamic-packaging software available.
The cruise industry is making waves globally as one of the fastest growing travel sectors so it is encouraging to see that these results positively reflect overall trends.
While looking at booking tendencies, we also analysed popular destinations for UK travellers in 2018, revealing some interesting results. While European countries continued to dominate the top 10, there were some destinations which appear to have made a bit of a comeback.
Turkey, for example, ranked as the sixth most popular destination for UK holiday-makers, suggesting that they have bounced back from the political challenges the country experienced in recent years.
Conversely, the United Arab Emirates dropped down the rankings in 2018 which could well be due to currency fluctuations and an increase in the price of goods in the region.
Overall, the results display a mainly positive picture but it goes without saying that the situation remains unsettled. With the threat of a no-deal Brexit looming, the concern remains that there could be a negative knock-on effect to outbound travel. However, ahead of October it would appear that the UK population has had enough of scaremongering and has just decided to get on with it and book.