Brexit uncertainty ‘not stopping holiday bookings’

Uncertainty over Brexit failed to dent bookings in the crucial first week of January, according to travel add-ons specialist Holiday Extras.

January 7 was the firm’s third-highest booking day ever in its 35-year history.

This is proof that holidaymakers are planning trips for the year ahead as usual, undaunted by Brexit on the horizon, the company claimed.

The turn of year surge includes booking growth for the period immediately following the planned date the UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29.

Year-on-year advance bookings for airport parking, airport hotels and airport lounges together are up 13.5% for the period after April.

People are also continuing to show confidence in EU destinations with the percentage split of 66.5% EU and 33.5% non-EU identical to the first week of January last year.

Holiday Extras editor in chief Seamus McCauley said: “Since our customers almost without exception book their parking and other holiday add-ons only once they’ve booked their trip, our booking numbers are a good proxy for holiday bookings generally, so travel this coming summer already looks to be in robust good health.

“The growth we’re seeing in add-on bookings is also very similar to the booking growth reported in Abta’s very recent 2019 report, which said its members were seeing 12% growth on last year too, which suggests approximately 12%-14% growth is going to be the pattern across the board.

“The first few days of January are usually a very good indication of the health of the travel market, as people coming back from their Christmas break book their holidays for the year ahead.

“We’re therefore delighted to see that first week is looking very positive for our industry, and that people aren’t letting uncertainty over Brexit stop them making holiday plans for the year ahead.”

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