Stats reveal few bargains in lates market

Official industry booking data has provided proof of how few holiday prices are being slashed in August despite national media reports encouraging consumers to expect bargains.

The up-to-date snapshot of the market is revealed in our new Lates Watch weekly trading update. Summer sales remain in line with the season to date to the middle of August.

And average selling prices in the week ending August 14 were £41 up on last year, according to industry analyst GfK Ascent.

The data shows package holidays are doing even better. The average selling price for packages is up by the same amount on last year, and while total sales for the season to date are 5%down year on year, package sales are only 4% down.

Dave Clayton, managing director of Global Travel Group, reported late sales were up 2% year on year across member agencies last week, and selling prices were higher year on year.

“It is not a distressed market,” he said. “There are good deals to be had, but you have to look for them. It’s more expensive than last year because of the failures. Thomas Cook and Tui have put their prices up because there is demand.”

GfK Ascent managing director Sarah Smalley said: “Summer 2010 prices are holding up, although some operators have slightly more lates than expected.”

Lates Watch: Year-on-year summer sales data


All sales to week ending August 14

  • Sales: -6%

  • Average sales price (ASP): +£41       

All sales to date

  • Sales: -5%   

  • ASP: +£43       

Package sales to date:

  • Sales: -4%         

  • ASP: +£41       

Top-selling destinations:

  1. Spain (ASP +£49)

  2. Turkey (ASP +£48)

  3. Greece (ASP +£11)

  4. US (ASP +£82)

  5. Cyprus (ASP +£27)

High-street shops and direct sales are performing “on a par”, reports GfK Ascent.

All-inclusive sales and cruises remain the season’s best-performing types of holidays – showing the largest year-on-year growth and contributing to the higher average selling price.

Durations of nine-12 nights are also up. For the season to date, mid-haul sales continue to growth, but GfK Ascent describes short and long-haul as “suffering a downturn”.

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