Hays extends opening hours as bookings bounce back

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Hays extends opening hours as bookings bounce back

Most Hays Travel high street stores will open on Sundays and its contact centres have extended opening hours for the next six weeks to make the most of the peak booking period.

The travel agency’s bookings were up five-fold on Saturday, traditionally one of the busiest days of the season, compared to the same time last year, it said.

“Despite the cost of living challenges, the last thing people seem to want to give up is their annual holiday,” said Chair and owner Dame Irene Hays.

“We have seen an extremely busy to start to the peak booking season and already have customers looking for last minute sunshine, summer holidays, worldwide cruises and city breaks right across 2023 and even for two years ahead for Lapland adventures at Christmas in 2024.

“Remembering this time last year, when the Omicron variant restricted travel bookings for the first two weeks, we are feeling optimistic for 2023.”  

Hays said the top winter sun destination is Spain, ‘followed closely’ by Tenerife and Lanzorote.

About a third of all bookings for Spain are for departures in the next 12 weeks, it said.

Hays is also seeing an ‘unusually high’ number of bookings for Italy, specifically Rome, in February, along with New York.

Spain, Turkey, Portugal and Greece remain the most popular destinations,  with New York and Orlando the top long-haul destinations. 

Additional air capacity from Emirates has increased bookings for the Middle and Far East, particularly Dubai and the Maldives, it added.

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