Added value and last minute trend set to continue, says tour operators

Added value and last minute trend set to continue, says tour operators

Agents will increasingly need to build targeted ‘dynamic packages’ with a strong local marketing campaign, according to two of the UK’s tour operators. Ian Mounser, sales director at Superbreak has predicted that consumers will continue to favour trips with added value, such as a free dinner or concert tickets included. He also thinks more southerners will head north to cities such as York and Edinburgh for their breaks and more hen and stag nights will be held in the UK. “2011 is likely to remain a challenging time for consumers and the economy as a whole in my view. However, we have seen before that UK breaks are very resilient and recover from demand dips quite quickly,” explained Mounser. “They are easy to book at the last minute, which helps, plus many customers reach the ‘sod it’ point and need a break to recharge their batteries.” Tony Seaman, sales and marketing director at Attraction World, agreed that agents will continue to see different booking times than they are used to. “For example, operators and agents may see that the traditional key booking months of January and February are no longer what they used to be and therefore need to react by not overstaffing call-centres to meet the usual rush,” he said. “Only time will tell but everyone needs to be on the ball in 2011.” In addition, Mounser and Seaman said the Royal Wedding would boost sales to London and potentially abroad to take advantage of the double bank holiday weekends. Meanwhile in Europe, Seaman revealed that the Eurozone will be a concern due to the fluctuating exchange rate. “Agents should keep a close eye on what is going on as we may see further uplift into countries that are not part of the Eurozone as a result of the current uncertainty,” he explained. “The dollar has also stabilised, so America is more attractive than it was in 2010.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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