Almost two thirds of UK leisure agents (63.7%) and a similar percentage of UK business travel agents (63.9%) predict they will see an increase in bookings during the third quarter of 2006. This is according to the latest Amadeus online snap poll in which more than 150 UK leisure and business travel agents were surveyed about how they felt the travel industry would perform in Q3 2006.
From the 63.7% of UK leisure agents who felt business was on the up for Q3 of 2006:
18.8% said they predicted sales to increase by 5%
30.4% said they thought sales would rise by 10%
14.5% said they felt sales would increase by 20%
Of the 63.9% of UK business agents who felt bookings were looking strong for the period:
13.9% forecasted sales to rise by 5%
27.8% said they thought sales would increase by 10%
22.2% expected sales to rise by as much as 20%
Conversely, 7.2% of leisure agents and 11.1% of business agents surveyed expected to see a downturn in sales during quarter three. However, of the leisure agents who predicted disappointing sales, the decrease averaged less than 2%. For business agents who felt sales looked gloomy, the expected decrease averaged under 3%.
Interestingly, the remaining 29% of leisure agents and 25% business agents expected no change in the volume of bookings during Q3.
Other interesting results coming out of the latest snap poll were that travel agents are feeling the effects of leisure travellers using the internet to research travel options before going to their travel agent to book a holiday:
The majority of UK leisure agents said as much as 50-75% of their customers are internet savvy these days
This compares to the majority of UK business agents who said that less then 1 in 4 of their customers researched travel options before going to them for advice
When quizzed about whether the football World Cup was affecting bookings, over half (50.7%) of leisure agents said it had made no impact at all on the holidays they were booking. For those leisure travel agents who felt the World Cup was influencing travel planning and sales, almost 1 in 4 customers appeared to be delaying travel until after the tournament. Interestingly, almost three quarters (74.3%) of business agents said it was business as usual, although a small percentage of business travellers appear to be organising their schedule to be at home during key games.
Elaine Seeto, Director of Marketing for Amadeus UK and Ireland said: “It is good to see that the majority of agents are confident bookings will increase from July to September. For leisure agents these increases could be attributable to people booking a last minute summer holiday or escaping from the terrible weather we’ve seen in the UK recently! However, compared to the last snap poll results, agents predicted slightly stronger sales in Q2 compared to Q3, with 70.1% leisure agents expecting an increase in bookings and 75.4% of business agents feeling sales were on the up.”