Brits are booking more short breaks than ever before.
That’s the message from Andy Stark, CEO of The Global Travel Group (TGTG), revealing a 35% year-on-year hike in short-break holiday bookings of six days or less by the entity’s agency members.
“People are travelling for shorter periods but more frequently throughout the year; it’s an industry step change,” said Stark, speaking at this week’s TGTG 2016 conference at Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai (23-25 May).
Longer haul destinations like Dubai were now considered short-break options, he said, noting how 14-night holidays were no longer en-vogue, accounting for just 19% of TGTG’s sales.
Cruise holidays are also witnessing a boom, with TGTG’s sales up 30% year on year, while a significant 27% of the group’s sales are now long haul.
Growth in holiday package sales has been modest, up 6% year on year, Stark revealed.
In terms of destination trends, general concern about travelling to areas such as North Africa and Turkey, is driving more business to Western Europe, with Spain a top pick for Global agencies’ customers.
But there’s still capacity in the market, Stark told conference-goers.
“Spain is busy, but not full to busting,” he said. “Prices are high though”.
In his opening conference address, Stark also revealed that 97% of business conducted by TGTG was through its 155 preferred suppliers.
An average of 12 new suppliers come on board every year.
The group is strongly-focused on leveraging the benefits of dnata ownership, Stark continued, noting the “possibility” of exclusive relationships with the likes of Emirates in the future.
TGTG has now established a centralised purchasing team with dnata, which was starting to pay dividends, he concluded.