Domestic tour operators are warning they have limited stock left to sell this summer following a dramatic surge in sales.
Hoseasons expects to sell out of UK accommodation within the next few weeks.
Product director Sara Zimmerman said within the last three weeks sales were 20% up on the previous year for its UK product. With just 10% of its capacity left to sell, the operator is confident of clearing its stock.
She said concerns over the poor exchange rate with the euro and reports of airport problems are driving the trend, adding: “It is showing no sign of slowing down.”
Bourne Leisure marketing manager Jenny Redfern said sales were up for all three of the operator’s brands – Butlins, Warner Breaks and Haven Holidays. Last week alone Warner Breaks’ sales were 44% ahead year on year, while Haven Holidays’ sales were 10% up. The increases have left the operator with “limited” capacity available for the summer.
Redfern said the increases were partially thanks to the trade, which has increased sales across the board, adding: “There seems to be a lot of activity on the high street.”
Although it has not contracted any accommodation in the UK, Superbreak sales director Ian Mounser agreed the operator had a strong start to the year for domestic sales, although they have declined in the past couple of months.
The operator is between 5% and 10% up in total sales for 2008 compared with this time last year.
Mounser said: “Domestic breaks are very easy to buy at the last minute and in times of uncertainty people defer their decision-making until it’s quite late.
“If we do as much business through agents in the next three months as we did over the same three months last year, that would be a result.”
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