Brits are booking their holidays later to avoid travel disruption, according to a report published yesterday.
Data from Advantage, the UK’s largest consortium of travel agents, showed that 40 per cent of bookings are for the next 12 weeks, with reservations for May half-term holidays down by 5 per cent on 2019 levels.
Before Covid, Brits used to book their summer holidays six months in advance, usually during January but as a result of the pandemic there were no peaks post-Christmas, the Sunday Times reported.
Travel patterns in the UK have also gone from Britons taking several short holidays during the course of the year to taking longer ones in specific periods, such as the summer.
According to Advantage’s leisure director Kelly Cookes, trends will continue well into the summer as a result of residues of uncertainty post-Covid.
“This has been the trend for the past three months and is largely due to customer confidence still being at a delicate stage, as well as some destinations still having requirements in place,” she told City A.M.
“Normal” patters will return in 2024 following a period of stability without the risk of new Covid restrictions.
“It’s likely the trend will continue for a while longer, however each week we are starting to see an increase in bookings for further ahead which can only be a positive sign.”
The data comes as carriers such as Virgin Atlantic have called out Heathrow, accusing it of “cynically” downplaying its recovery to increase airport fees, City A.M. reported.