For several years now, the travel and tourism trade has heard and read of survey after survey indicating that British travelers were shifting to last-minute. No more, it seems, as bargain booking site Travelzoo reported last week that nearly three out of every four (72 percent) of its members are planning to book over three months before the travel date. This, said James Clarke—he’s the UK-based general manager for Travelzoo—shows that its members appear to be optimistic about 2020.
Clarke described the above finding as a “dramatic increase” and he ascribed it to the possibility that people are feeling more financially secure and wanting to secure their holiday. He added, however, that it remained to be seen whether a lastminute trend reappears in May and June, particularly for operators with committed stock.
The 72 percent number is just one of the upbeat notes resulting from recent consumers research conducted by Travelzoo. Some other signs that Clarke pointed to in his report on the survey during a presentation at a Travelzoo travel trends event in London included the following:
—Well over half (57 percent) of the portion of Travelzoo’s five million UK members who were polled, expected to be better off in 2020, and 30 percent had greater confidence in the economy.
—In terms of members looking to book their holidays further in advance, Travelzoo found 72% are planning to book over three months before the travel date.
—Survey respondents were asked about what destinations they are looking to travel to in 2020 with 94 percent saying they were keen to try somewhere new.
—Of destinations mentioned, Japan figured highly, as did Canada, possibly due, Clarke said, to the recent royal connection with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Norway also figured highly.
—More adventurous destinations like Uzbekistan and the Galapagos also featured highly, indicating an increasing desire for experiential trips among Travelzoo members.
—Travelzoo members were also found to be seeking greater value, but want to holiday in luxury, looking for five-star hotels at three-star prices.
—This year the survey also asked about attitudes towards sustainability to assess whether the rising profile of climate and global warming is having an impact on buying behavior. It found just 18% are actually considering their carbon footprint when they are choosing and planning their holidays.
Overall, Clarke summed up survey results thus: “This is hopefully the first signs we are seeing of certainty in the marketplace and improved confidence in the travel market,” Clarke said.