Scottish agents have reported a last-minute surge in short-haul summer holiday deals after a sluggish start to bookings earlier in the year.
Thousands of Scots booked late deals through agents when a repeat of the summer 2018 heatwave failed to emerge, with beach resorts across Europe topping the list of destinations, according to the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association.
SPAA vice president Joanne Dooey said that the late deals market had spiked massively in June and July, with people who had planned to stay at home making a last-minute decision to travel abroad.
But the luxury and long-haul sectors have remained sluggish from Scotland throughout 2019. Dooey believes this is one area of the travel industry where the potential fall-out from Brexit may still be having an impact.
“The luxury market has been quite difficult this year as many of the affluent customers booking high-end holidays have investment portfolios that could be affected by Brexit or run businesses that trade with Europe. They are much cagier and are adopting a wait and see approach,” she said.
Referring to the short-haul lates market, Dooey added: “There was a very poor start to the year, and I think that was down to a lot of people deciding not to go abroad because of Brexit, which was initially supposed to happen in March.
“But ever since June we have seen confidence in the market start to return. I think this is down to a number of factors. People knew that Brexit would not affect summer holidays after being extended to October 31; the summer heatwave failed to emerge after an initial hot spell of weather at Easter; and people realised that staying at home and arranging days out with the family can be quite costly.
“Some of my own team have almost 30 years of experience in travel and they cannot remember a time when so many people were coming in to book late deals. I think, overall, people have been feeling a bit fed up and a holiday gives them something to look forward to.
“The Costas, Canaries, Turkey and Greece have all seen a really strong lates market and we are also seeing more people booking for next summer than we would normally expect at this time of year.
“For 2020, it looks like the early booker will be the winner as there will be less capacity for travelling directly from Scottish airports.”
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