The later booking trend is starting to reverse for the first time since the pandemic, delegates at Barclays 2022 Travel Forum have been told.
Martin Alcock, owner and director of the Travel Trade Consultancy, said luxury travel companies had reported that the holiday booking window had begun to lengthen “in the last couple of weeks” with customers starting to book further out.
The later booking trend has been a key feature of the market this year as customers remain cautious about booking too far ahead due to travel restrictions and general market uncertainty.
Alcock said: “Cash has been squeezed for a variety of reasons and throughout the pandemic we have seen the trend of booking later and the booking window shrinking. But the booking window has started to lengthen in the last couple of weeks.
“We are starting to see the later booking trend reverse. Some of our luxury clients are seeing bookings for much further out.”
He added that other players in the market such as Airbnb and Booking.com were also seeing more confidence to book further out, possibly due to “positive experiences” of recent travel.
“Maybe people are more confident to book despite a challenging economic backdrop and price rises of 20% to 30%. It’s the first indications of optimism,” he said.