The travel trade reported a pick-up in sales this week despite the security alert at airports, as forecasters predicted wet weather will continue into the peak holiday period.

Worldchoice chairman Colin Heal said: “The weather is a larger factor in making people go abroad than the hassle at airports.”

Freedom Travel Group managing director Trevor Davis agreed: “Shops are saying the security alerts over the weekend have not deterred customers, who are more keen to avoid the weather.” He said sales through Freedom agents had risen since the attempted bombings in London last Friday.

Davis added that an expected rise in interest rates was more of a concern to holidaymakers than the terror attacks. “The question is whether tour operators hold their nerve on prices,” he said.

Paul Furner, managing director of online agency TravelRepublic, said sales last Saturday were almost 22% up on the previous week. “The public refuse to let terrorists get in the way of their holidays,” he said.

Tour operators also reported improved sales. Libra Holidays‘ average weekly sales figures in June were almost 50% up on May. Sales and marketing senior manager Riccardo Benzo said: “The bad weather has helped greatly.”

Youtravel.com, which had already begun to see sales improve, said the weather “must be a factor” in a flat market. “All the tourist boards predicted one of the hottest summers in the UK. I would love to know what they are saying now,” said sales and marketing director Paul Riches.

However, Hoseasons suggested airport security measures were causing some to reconsider flying. It reported a 26% rise in callers enquiring about UK holidays since Sunday. A similar rise in demand for UK breaks followed the airport security alert last August.

 

From the Travel Weekly Blog