Family bookings are driving this summer’s outbound growth, with sales rising at double the rate for non-families.

Industry analyst GfK reports family bookings for summer 2018 up 6% year on year to the end of January, against a 3% rise for non‑family bookings, contributing to a 4% increase for the market overall.

It follows a summer 2017 performance that GfK described as “exceptional given the uncertain background” when family bookings rose 13% on 2016 against a 7% increase for the total market.

Growth in family bookings has outpaced non-family sales since summer 2012, with the sector now accounting for almost 40% of summer bookings compared with just over 20% of winter sales.

However, the average selling price (ASP) of family holidays is significantly lower than for non‑family bookings, with a current difference for summer 2018 of about 23%.

GfK senior client insight director David Hope said: “The difference is due to product mix. The family market is dominated by traditional beach holidays, while the non‑family has more escorted tours and cruises, longer durations and a higher proportion of long-haul.”

All-inclusive holidays account for 61% of family bookings for this summer to date and are up 8% year on year.

Hope said: “Growth in the family market is linked with all-inclusive growth, providing the security of being able to control the budget.”

He added: “The family market traditionally books earlier than the non-family, but this year it is even stronger than normal.”

Most summer 2018 family bookings to date (93%) have been for seven to 14 nights, with seven-night bookings up 15% year on year, but 14 nights down 7%.