Late bookings lead to better-than-expected May half term for Advantage

By Kelly Ranson
16/05/2024
Home » Late bookings lead to better-than-expected May half term for Advantage

Advantage Travel Partnership agents say May half-term bookings are ‘exceeding expectations’, boosted by late sales and continued demand for all-inclusive.

More than a quarter of bookings (27%) for the May school holiday have been made within 12 weeks of departure, and four in 10 bookings (42%) are for all-inclusive.

The Canary Islands – led by Tenerife – followed by the Balearics and Greece are the most popular May half-term destinations. 

Long haul is also proving popular, accounting for 13% of all departures, with the most in-demand destinations being Dubai and New York. City breaks account for 7% of May half-term bookings with the top choices being Paris, Krakow, Rome, New York and Barcelona.

Speaking ahead of Advantage’s conference at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico, Chief Commercial Officer Kelly Cookes said May half term is ‘extremely well sold’ but there are still ‘great deals’ to be had.

All-inclusive continues to be the most popular board basis for summer 2024, accounting for 46% of all departures. Last year, all-inclusive accounted for 31% of summer holidays booked through Advantage agents.

Nearly one in five bookings for summer holiday departures have been made since the start of April. Tenerife, Majorca, Alicante, Antalya and Lanzarote are the top-five destinations.

Long haul accounts for 12% of bookings for summer 2024, with Orlando, New York and Cancun the most popular. City breaks account for 5% percent of departures with the top choices for summer being Rome, Paris, Prague, Krakow and Barcelona.

Cruise volumes continue to be strong, accounting for a third of all revenue, and Advantage reports an increase in suite sales and a higher proportion of new-to-cruise customers than in previous years.

Kelly said: “Performance so far has been really strong for both the May half term and the school summer holidays.

“There is undeniably a huge appetite for travel and it’s great to see such a wide range of destinations being booked. Travellers are clearly still looking to manage costs when it comes to booking holidays which is evident in the high percentage of all-inclusive bookings our travel partners are seeing.

“The increase in all-inclusive bookings is driven by a mix of motivations as consumers are planning more and are increasingly more cost conscious than they have been in recent years.

“May half term is extremely well sold but there still some great deals out there and it’s great to see that people are already looking ahead to their summer holidays as we would always recommend booking early as there’s more availability in terms of destination, duration and hotels as well as better deals and low deposits.”

Advantage also revealed 17% of members are planning to open new branches this year.

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