The week ending January 23 was the strongest yet for summer 2010 holidays bookings, according to the latest official booking data from GfK Ascent-MI.
Year-on-year comparisons showed that 34,000 more sales were made than in the same week in 2009. There were also signs of a revival in the family market after it accounted for about one-third of bookings made.
The Co-operative Travel director for retail distribution Trevor Davis confirmed the week had been a success after the chain recorded its best-ever day of trading on January 16, followed by its second best on January 23.
He said business picked up last week as the bad weather abated and consumers who did not take a foreign holiday last year decided to book this year.
Davis said: “Consumers want summer sunshine and the only way of being sure of getting that is to go overseas.”
Advantage Travel Centres commercial director Julia Lo Bue-Said said the number of passengers booking summer 2010 package holidays last week was 20% ahead of the previous year, with Turkey and Egypt proving strong.
She added that this was largely due to concerted consumer advertising and marketing campaigns by tour operators and retailers.
Worldchoice operations director Bill Pickering said the consortium was yet to see a resurgence in the family market as couples were dominating sales.
But he added that overall passenger numbers for summer 2010 were 15.5% ahead of this time last year.
Global Travel Group managing director Dave Clayton said summer 2010 sales last week were 22.6% up.
GfK Ascent-MI managing director Sarah Smalley said although passenger numbers for summer 2010 remained 6% down year on year, revenue was up 1% as travel companies targeted profit over volume.
She added: “This is a performance that those operators and retailers driving it should be very proud of.”