International vacation booking volumes for the 2019 summer season vs. the same time last year were flat for slightly more than half of sources and up for slightly less than half. Consumers’ main criteria for deciding on a vacation include price as much as the destination itself.
Interviews with travel agents in the UK revealed that current last-minute booking volumes for the rest of the 2019 winter season are flat for 60% vs. the same time last year, because budgets are tight, last-minute bookings are not cheaper anymore, and older people worry about post-Brexit travel problems, while they are up for 40% due to the strong economy and a pre-Brexit booking surge.
As to current booking volumes for the 2019 summer season, 53% of sources said they are flat vs. the same time last year, as sales were good last year and difficult to beat, budgets are tight, and increased long-haul bookings are counterbalanced by decreased Europe bookings, while 47% said they are up due to the strong economy and vacations being a priority for young people.
Meanwhile, 87% of sources said preferred destinations for the 2019 summer season so far are long-haul destinations in general due to easy worldwide travel, the desire to see new places and cheap airfare. Indeed, 67% cited the US and Canada as preferred destinations for the 2019 summer season so far, as they are nearly as cheap as Europe, flights are cheap, and there is a common language, while 7% each cited Australia/New Zealand, Africa, cruises and Cuba. Still, 13% of sources said no destination in particular is preferred. As to the main decision-making criterion for vacation booking, 93% cited value for money, while 7% said secure booking guarantees.
Preferred 2019 summer season destinations
Source: Grassroots® Research.
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