British heatwave causes drop in trip bookings

Online travel agents have experienced a 20% decrease in the number of last-minute bookings this summer due to the UK’s current heatwave

The unexpected hot weather has had a detrimental effect on the number of British holidaymakers booking last-minute overseas trips. This summer was expected to be a busy season with regards to late bookings and is unlikely to pick up if the weather remains warm.

Steve Enacott, chief executive for On Holiday Group, has said in a recent blog: “To be honest few of us saw this coming, having expected a decent lates market without the distractions of Euro Football tournaments, the London Olympics or Royal Weddings”.

In 2010, there was a similar dip as the infamous Icelandic ash cloud grounded flights across Europe. Although at that time sales dropped by 25%, people seemed to merely delay their booking rather than decide not to travel at all. However, this summer it seems that many Brits may be completely disregarding a trip abroad rather than postponing it.

His blog went on to speculate that due to modern technology, children on their holidays away from school demand access to the electronic world. Therefore, some British parents may be saving money by utlising their home country’s tourism while allowing their children to still use their devices such as laptops, games consoles and televisions.

In response to the sharp falls in bookings, Alex Francis, CEO and founder of loveholidays.com, predicts bargain prices and sales are to be expected: “Travel savvy businesses will discount prices heavily this week to ensure holidaymakers aren’t tempted to stay in the UK for the summer holidays by this weeks unseasonably hot weather.”

In stark contrast to overseas trips, bookings made for trips within the UK have increased by 44%, according to outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com. Founder of the company Dan Yates explained: “The weather has defied expectations, and holidaymakers are taking full advantage by booking short stays at the last minute.” The last week has seen the biggest surge in bookings so far this year.

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