Exclusive: Five million consumers to book early for 2009

Around five million UK consumers are predicted to book their 2009 summer holiday in the next two to three months, a new exclusive survey for Travel Weekly has revealed.

The results of a survey of more than 2,000 consumers by research company TNS suggest 10% of the population will book their summer break before December, while a quarter are already reviewing brochures for the coming year.

Almost a third (30%) of those planning on booking said they were doing so to guarantee their preferred holiday choice as well as take advantage of any early deals. Consumers said they were keen to book early so they could give themselves time to budget.

A 60% majority said the downturn in the economy is not likely to have an effect on their holiday plans, while only 25% claimed the cost of mortgages, lack of job security and increased costs of everyday items would cause them to amend or cancel their holiday plans.

Head of travel and tourism Tom Costley said: “This early indication of the prospects for the 2009 season must be reassuring for the holiday industry.

“There seems to be resilience among large sections of the population that holidays are of sufficient importance that it is worth planning ahead for 2009, despite economic uncertainty.”

He added a sixth of those browsing next summer’s brochures won’t book anything until early 2009.

TNS conducted the face-to-face survey of 2,090 consumers between August 15 and 19.

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