June holiday prices were up £66 per passenger on the same month last year.
Statistics from Ascent MI’s Leisure Travel Monitor show average selling prices per passenger for June this year were £483 compared to £417 for June last year. In May the average selling price was £5 higher than in June at £488.
Chief executive Sarah Smalley said: “This is a positive impact of the big two taking out unprofitable spare capacity. It’s not before time that they have finally pulled the bootstraps up.”
Last year there was a £53 drop from May 2007’s average selling price of £470 to June 2007’s £417, driven by declining online prices.
Smalley added that capacity reductions by major operators this year had forced around half a million passengers out of the under £400 holiday price bracket, with £400-£1,000 holidays increasing by a corresponding amount.
“Cheap holidays have been sliced out of the market so operators are selling more profitable holidays,” she said.
With TUI Travel and Thomas Cook cutting capacity next year by a further 13% and 7% respectively, prices hikes are expected to continue, which could encourage more early bookings.
Smalley predicted the main battleground will be for sales of £400-£800 holidays, which now account for more than 40% of all holidays booked and 47% of all packages. In June, bookings of packages priced £600-£799 grew by 16%.