What does the rest of 2019 hold in store for the Travel and Holidays market?
Roger Mallock, Cruise Specialist and Travel Agency Manager at PayingTooMuch.com Holidays, gives us his thoughts on Q1 in the Travel industry and how things are shaping up for the rest of the year
“The market since the start of the year is certainly down, to the tune of approximately 10%. There seems to be little pattern in consumer booking dates and trends. Long haul bookings and Cruises into 2020 are proving very popular in the market, Europe has suffered for obvious reasons, uncertainty and in some cases the fear of whether flight schedules will operate post the political outcome. For sure it has held back a segment of the market, and unfortunately, it’s the segment that have the time and resources to be booking trips.
Certainty and assurance are the requirement of customers and unfortunately the current situation does not support this. It is fair to say that a percentage of consumers will have booked domestic breaks this time around, so there may be an overall impact on overseas bookings. We are seeing an increasing number of people looking to book in a secure and bonded manner (package deals with ABTA protection) for a little more reassurance. There is also a move back to using high street or call centre agents as opposed to self-packaging with all it’s potential issues if things go wrong.”
“I expect that when we reach the holiday season, we may see quite a bit of price competition to entice buyers into making last minute bookings. Though interestingly, where the cruise industry is concerned, although there is space to fill, this is barely being reduced by the main players and yet it seems to be selling in the later market.”
"I remain of the view that, when certainty comes back, (hopefully very soon) the travelling public will start booking overseas breaks again and the market will turn around.”
“Looking ahead, there are clearly destinations which are ‘in vogue’ presently. We are seeing travellers booking destinations much further afield, including Asia (Japan in particular), Latin America (Norwegian Air now fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Canada, Australasia and The Indian Ocean. There is also a strong interest in South Africa currently.”
“I expect the Travel industry will hold up well for the remainder of 2019, and into 2020, the market will fare well due to the advance bookings being made at present (rather than bookings for the current year).”