A glut of television advertising and reduced capacity are driving early sales in the market this year.


Tour operators claim that press reports telling consumers about the capacity cuts and the campaigns launched in the new year are having a positive effect on sales.


Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick said it is the most TV advertising he has seen in five years. He added that although the adverts feature just one tour operator or destination, the overall effect is driving the public to book holidays.


He said that as a result of this, Hoseasons’ sales since Christmas have risen 6% compared with the same period last year, while agent online bookings are up 4%.


He added: “We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the levels of business. All the majors are advertising holidays and, although some of them are pushing the online message, at least they are pushing holidays too.”


Mundi Color Holidays manager outgoing Ray Steward agreed that increased advertising has sparked early sales. He added: “There has also been pretty good coverage in the consumer press saying that, thanks to capacity cuts, holidays this summer could be in short supply. I think the message has hit home and consumers are looking to make earlier purchases.”


Cosmos Holidays sales director Andy Washington agreed the big two’s capacity cuts have allowed their rivals to fill the vacuum and Cosmos has seen sales since Christmas reach levels that are 36% up on the same period last year. He added the market is also being driven by some operators taking deposits as low as £10.


Bed bank youtravel.com has revealed that it is also seeing early sales in the dynamic packaging market.


Sales and marketing director Paul Riches said early booking offers from low-cost airlines are leading customers to organise accommodation at the same time. Riches said this has helped the bed bank’s summer sales increase to such an extent that they are accounting for up to a quarter of this year’s sales since Christmas as opposed to about 10% a year ago.