Domestic tour operators remain unconcerned that the pound’s recent rally against the dollar and the euro will damage their markets.
The pound is worth $1.65, up from a year low of $1.34, while it has also bounced against the euro and is worth €1.15. Earlier this year the pound-euro rate reached parity.
The strengthening of the pound has prompted PricewaterhouseCoopers director David Trunkfield and No1 Currency head of treasury services David Lamb to speculate that the improvement may drive consumers to consider overseas breaks as opposed to domestic holidays.
However, domestic operators said the pound’s rally was too little, too late to have an adverse affect on this year’s bookings.
Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick said the operator had seen a 25%, 15% and 5% increase in bookings for UK holiday parks, cottages and boats respectively.
This is compared with a 20% drop in European bookings, although Carrick said this had improved to 18.5% in the last two weeks as the family market begins to pick up.
He said: “We’re seeing no slow-down at all in the demand for UK holidays. The pound would have to move quite a bit for us to see an impact.”
Superbreak sales director Ian Mounser agreed the domestic market was holding up, with agents achieving 20% more bookings with 10% more revenues on UK product in the last three months.
He added: “If the pound got back to being worth €1.30 then I think people would start taking a fresh view; up until that point, I don’t think the sentiment will change that much.”
Bourne Leisure head of retail sales Alan Lambert added: “We’ve not seen a slow-down for UK bookings, although what we are seeing is quite a lot of demand for family holidays in early September.”
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