Hot weather and Euros fail to dent travel demand

A surge in UK temperatures and Uefa Euro 24 football fever have failed to significantly dent demand for late summer bookings, according to the trade.

Travel agents this week reported that business remained buoyant and prices were holding firm.

Events such as the Euros have previously hit trading, while hot UK weather has also slowed demand.

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Stephanie Slark, director of membership services at The Travel Network Group, said booking numbers were “holding steady”, adding: “The majority of customers are not making decisions based on a couple of nice days. Members are not losing bookings.” She said that while there were cut-price messages across mainstream holidays, these were not “deep discounts”.

Seaside Travel has “embraced football mania” by screening games in its nine stores and offering deals to the countries of all teams competing.

Similarly, Althams Travel has decked out its windows with a football theme. Managing director Sandra McAllister said trading had been up “most days in June”, with a couple of quieter days at the start of the hot weather.

Independent Travel Experts surveyed its members and found only 1% of its homeworkers felt clients were holding off from booking because of the football, and only 4% believed customers were waiting to see how England performed before booking. In total, 63% said clients were booking regardless of the warm weather.

However, The Advantage Travel Partnership said sales in the past week had seen a “slight dip” on the previous week, while overall sales remained up year on year and there was no sign of a lates price war.

Chief commercial officer Kelly Cookes said: “This [dip] could be down to the Euros and/or the weather, but operators are also holding their prices as many are well sold.”

She added that there was still a “portion” of the market that had yet to book for the summer, adding: “The reasons for this vary but the biggest trigger is usually the weather.”

Hoseasons said the weather had boosted staycations, noting a 14% rise last week on the same week last year for July and August bookings.

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