Travel agents brace yourselves – the festive season is nigh and it appears that Brits are looking to ditch a traditional Christmas in the UK in favour of chasing some winter sun.
According to research from global flight search and travel website Cheapflights.co.uk, nearly half of Brits (44%) are searching for deals to sunnier climes. In fact, the study pinpointed that the key reason for shunning Christmas in Britain was the weather, with warmer destinations such as the USA, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Australia, the UAE and South Africa all enjoying high levels of searches for the festive period.
TravelDailyMedia.com reported that the study had shown "less than two thirds of Brits are happy at the prospect of spending Christmas at home this year" and that search data revealed a 60% rise in demand for Christmas travel year-on-year.
The industry had been waiting to see what might happen in the the aftermath of Brexit and thanks to the subsequent devaluing of the pound; this research would indicate that, even if the nation are watching their pennies a little more carefully this year when they set about their Christmas shopping, this won't deter them from festive travel.
In particular, travel agents can expect a larger proportion of couples and singles to choose to head abroad this Christmas - the study revealed that divorced and widowed Brits are more likely to stay home. In terms of location, it looks like a significant number of Londoners want to get out of the city over the festive period - 60% are ready to head abroad this year. In comparison, only 32% of those living in the East Midlands are looking to head overseas. There also appeared to be a slight gender gap when it came to preferring a Christmas at home - 60% of women were planning a British Christmas whilst only 51% of men felt the same way.
When can travel businesses expect the majority of bookings to take place? Cheapflights' data suggests that December 23 is likely to be the busiest day for flights as travellers hurry to get to their destination of choice in time for Christmas Eve.
Although many travellers look to book as early as possible to guarantee their Christmas break plans are in place, average sales prices are expected to be at their lowest roughly six weeks before the date of travel.
Make sure your travel business is ready for the influx of festive bookings - contact us at Digital Trip to find out how our travel technology can help your organisation excel.