UK online travel agent Teletext Holidays has made two senior appointments as it closes in on a record year for bookings.
The firm, which specialises in marketing online and converting customers over the phone, says it has seen growth in new outbound sectors like family, long haul, all-inclusive and affordable luxury.
Former Monarch Holidays finance director and managing director Richard Francis has been recruited as finance director of Teletext Holidays’ joint venture partner Truly Travel.
Meanwhile, the firm has appointed Sarah Newton as marketing director. She joins from rival OTA Love Holidays.
Wayne Perks, managing director of Teletext Holidays, said: “If we maintain our current momentum 2018 will be a record year for Teletext Holidays.
“The team have worked very hard, and adding the experience and expertise of Sarah and Richard to our senior management teams we can only be a positive as we prepare for continued growth in 2019.”
Teletext has reported in the year to the end of September, it has seen a year-on-year 23% increase in bookings for all-inclusive product, particularly to Turkey (+57%) and Egypt (+109%).
It has also seen an increase in demand for long-haul holidays, with the USA up 55%, including a 205% increase to New York City and 32% rise for Orlando. Dubai was up 39% and Mexico up 46%.
Bookings for family groups (denoted as two adults plus one or more children) has grown 17% year-on-year, with Turkey, the Canaries and the Balearics the most popular destinations.
Perks, added: “We’re obviously very pleased with our performance so far this year and are pushing in to the final quarter to ensure the share we’ve grown isn’t lost.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the economy at the moment. While our numbers tell us that Brits still want to be taking holidays and are planning ahead in to 2019, the Brexit headwinds means that their purchasing habits are adapting.
“The increase in all-inclusive holidays, for example, indicates that they want to de-risk their exposure to currency fluctuations next year, and that they want to be able to budget with confidence.
“And, although demand for our core destinations of Spain, Greece and Portugal grew this year, we’re seeing more customers venturing further afield as well, especially now that flight capacity to Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt is back on the increase.
“Some of that may be to avoid what are now often reported to be quite overcrowded resorts around the Med, but also because there is a perception of greater value to be had long haul while the Euro is strong.
“Alongside the economic uncertainty, and the unknowns of Brexit, and given the impact the warm weather the UK enjoyed during the summer has reportedly had on the market, our numbers for the year to date are particularly pleasing.”
During 2018, Teletext Holidays says it has renewed its commitment to its ‘phone-to-book’ model, however, investment in the user experience has seen downloads of the its mobile app grow by 114% year-on- ear, driving an 82% increase in app-generated enquiries.
This year was the first in which Teletext Holidays invested in an ‘always-on’ strategy for its TV advertising, as well as dedicated ‘pre-peak’ marketing campaigns, where the focus has been on online.
Perks added: “The days where a travel brand could isolate a couple of periods outside of the turn of year sales when demand would be strongest, and marketing spend directed accordingly, are dying out.
“We have developed a much sharper, insights-driven approach to our marketing this year meaning that while our marketing budget – which hasn’t really increased – is spread more thinly over the whole year, how we’re spending it is much more targeted.
“Our Winter Sun campaign launching in October, for example, is based on the insights we have that consumers aren’t willing to wait until the New Year to book, and will commit now if the deals are strong enough – which we’re very confident ours are.”