How was Sunshine Saturday? Travel Gossip poll reveals all

By Lisa James
08/01/2024
Home » How was Sunshine Saturday? Travel Gossip poll reveals all

A Travel Gossip poll has revealed one in four agents described the first week of January Peaks, ending in ‘Sunshine Saturday’ as ‘superb’, yet many say customers are shopping around before they commit.

Hopes were high in the run-up to the first Saturday of January, which is regarded as being the busiest day for holiday bookings and this year Jet2 said it was expecting a ‘surge’ in business.

When Travel Gossip asked how the first week of Peaks ending in Sunshine Saturday on 6 January had gone, almost a quarter (24%) of those who responded to Facebook poll said ‘superb’, with 27% saying ‘good, not great’ and 28% describing sales as ‘not bad for the first week’.

However, 18% say Peaks have been ‘disappointing’.

One agent described Peaks as ‘frustrating so far’, saying she’s noticed ‘a lot more people shopping around and wanting price matches on options you send and do the work for’.

Another agent, Kieran Miller, who runs Magical Traveller in Bristol, said he’s had a ‘bad start’ but isn’t panicking just yet as February to May is generally better for him than January.

Kieran said: “I have done loads of quotes, but nobody is rushing to book, or they are shopping around aggressively.

“One group of 15 asked me to price match, so despite my usual policy, I did. Then they said they were going to go back to the other company to see if they would beat it.

“We’re training customers to do this by agreeing in the first place to match any price.

“Another one had no idea what cruises were available when we first started talking, then magically the husband booked it direct within 24 hours despite me narrowing down the options for them.”

Caroline Bentley-Showell, who runs Travel Finesse in Market Bosworth, said: “It’s very price competitive out there this past week for sure. We’ve had several customers wanting us to price match. Even when we have done or hit close but offer a more personal service/back-up, some have still messaged to say they booked it direct after all.”

She described the first week of Peaks as a ‘mixed week compared to the same week last year’, but she’s staying positive, adding: “We peaked later last year.”

Meanwhile, Jet2holidays reported record levels of demand for holidays booked through independent travel agent partners.

In the period between Boxing Day and last Friday (5 January 2024), the operator saw bookings increase by 150% compared to pre-Christmas, with both summer 2024 and late winter bookings proving popular.

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