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Published on Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Customers booking late, says Co-op Travel survey

Agents should be prepared to see more bookings come in late this year as economic uncertainty makes it difficult for customers to plan their holidays.

That was the conclusion of a survey by The Co-operative Travel of 850 of its customers that booked a holiday in January last year.

It found that although 31% of customers planned to book in January and February, 57% were expecting to make their booking between March and June.

“Like a lot of people in the UK at the moment, many of our customers have concerns over the economy and job security, and this is making it difficult for them to plan holidays in the short term,” said head of retail distribution Trevor Davis.

But he warned consumers about the dangers of booking later in the year.

“Many of the larger tour operators have reduced their capacity for 2009 - on top of massive reductions last season - which means there are less holidays available,” he said.

Although 89% of respondents had not yet finalised their 2009 getaway, 65% said they still going to take a summer holiday, with a further 28% undecided.

Only 7% of customers surveyed said they had definitely decided to give up their summer holiday this year.

“ABTA has reported this week that 37% of holidaymakers view their summer holiday as their most prized annual purchase, and this will be reflected in increases in bookings as the year goes on,” added Davis.

By Bev Fearis

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