Advantage May half-term bookings ‘exceeding expectations’

May half-term bookings for Advantage Travel Partnership members are “exceeding expectations”, according to the consortium.

Speaking at a media briefing held the day before Advantage’s annual conference in Mexico, chief commercial officer Kelly Cookes said May had so far been an “incredibly popular month for bookings”.

A survey carried out by the consortium of its members suggests the trend of last-minute bookings is continuing for May half-term, with 27% of departures for the period made since the start of March, meaning one in four have booked within 12 weeks of departure.

More: More than 15% of Advantage members plan shop openings this year

Spain is currently the top-selling short-haul destination with the Canary Islands, led by Tenerife, in second, followed by the Balearic Islands in third and Greece in fourth.

Long-haul travel currently accounts for 13% of May half-term departures, with the most in-demand destinations Dubai and New York.

City breaks account for 7% of bookings with the top choices being Paris, Krakow, Rome, New York and Barcelona.

All-inclusive is the most popular board basis with a 42% share of all departures.

Cookes said this can be attributed to an increasing number of travellers “still looking to manage costs”.

“The increase in all-inclusive bookings is driven by a mix of motivations as consumers are planning more and are increasingly more cost conscious than they have been in recent years,” she said.

Summer holidays

Cookes added performance for summer holiday bookings was also “strong”.

The top five short-haul destinations for the summer holidays, booked to the end of April, are Tenerife, Majorca, Alicante, Antalya and Lanzarote.

Summer holiday bookings for long-haul destinations currently account for 12% of all departures, with the most sought-after locations being Orlando, New York and Cancun.

City breaks account for 5% of departures with the top choices being Rome, Paris, Prague, Krakow and Barcelona.

All-inclusive is also the most popular board basis for summer, accounting for 46% of all departures, while nearly one in five bookings for summer holiday departures have been made since the start of April.

Cruise volumes represent a third of total revenue with Advantage reporting an increase in suite sales and a higher proportion of new-to-cruise customers than in previous years.

Cookes said healthy bookings for May half-term and summer demonstrate there is “a huge appetite for travel”.

She said: “Performance so far has been really strong for both the May half-term and the school summer holidays. It’s great to see such a wide range of destinations being booked.

“May half-term is extremely well sold but there still some great deals out there and it’s great to see that people are already looking ahead to their summer holidays.

“We would always recommend booking early as there’s more availability in terms of destination, duration and hotels as well as better deals and low deposits.”

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