The World Cup, the weather and exchange rates are impacting the travel industry and businesses all across the country this year. Here we take a quick look at the challenges and the opportunities we are likely to see over the next few weeks.
The World Cup
Holiday booking trends showed a slump during the World Cup, especially when England were playing, and with the rising temperatures the industry has seen little shift in bookings. As a result, airlines and tour operators are beginning to slash prices to entice customers to make last minute bookings.
It’s hot hot hot!
The rising temperatures has seen a continuing popularity of staycations which has helped lift profits at UK Holiday Parks. Holiday group Center Parcs says it has seen a 156% increase in its bookings since the end of the football World Cup. Norfolk Country Cottages said bookings for the holiday lettings firm so far in 2018 were up more than 40% compared with the same point in 2017, with bookings in May alone up 27% year-on-year. The family owners of Butlin's and businesses such as Bourne Leisure has seen a growing number of Britons holidaying at home instead of abroad.
Sterling is still struggling against the euro
Unsurprisingly, Brexit has had an impact on holiday planning/behaviour and the Pound has been suffering from a loss in relative value since the UK’s vote to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. The main effect of this has been that overseas holidays (especially in Europe) have become more expensive for UK travellers.
This week, the UK media such as The Express have reported on two events which could have an effect on the best currency exchange deals - new Eurozone data and the Bank of England's interest rate decision. Many Britons will have their fingers crossed for a positive movement in the sector.
Of course there are lots of opportunities too. Millions of people are continuing to jet off abroad and this week, Airports including East Midlands Airport and Gatwick are expecting their busiest days.
There’s still a market for those customers seeking the sun on a budget. According to Mintel’s latest report on Holiday planning and booking process, 19% of customers book their holiday less than a month before departure. As we revealed in our latest Holiday report, Turkey makes the best value holiday hot spot this year for those customers wishing to bag a bargain. Thomas Cook report package holiday bookings to Turkey are up 84%. Travelzoo has seen searches for deals rise by 43% year-on-year.
And with more people staying at home, the high streets are booming and today, retailer Next has reported growth in sales.
So there are plenty of opportunities to show your customers, existing and new, how Post Office can help with all their travel needs.