High levels of conversions for holidays in the latter part of summer 2021 is driving some optimism for prospects for the year ahead.
Although overall search and boom activity remains significantly down on what would be expected at this time of year, icelolly.com said some confidence appears to be emerging.
The holiday comparison site’s weekly Pulse tracker reflects the closure of travel corridors in the UK amid concerns of new COVID-19 strains being brought in from overseas.
Chris Webber, head of travel deals at icelolly.com, said: “With the removal of the travel corridors and ongoing uncertainty about just when people will be able to holiday again, we’re seeing a definite shift in search behaviour to those later season travel months.
“There were notable increases in August, September and October searches and – despite volumes being subdued compared with this time last year – conversion rate here is high suggesting people could well be more confident about getting something to look forward to in the calendar.
“Bookings-wise, S21 is still the dominant season with traditional beach break destinations like the Costa Blanca, Tenerife and the Algarve all taking a double-digit share of bookings.”
July 2021 retained its top spot the most-searched departure month although the difference in share with August is now less than one percentage point (down from a more than two percentage points difference).
In terms of destinations, Crete and Dalaman were the big gainers of search share in the past week, both seeing increases of around 25%.
Algarve and Dubai both saw their search share fall by double digit percentages. Outside the top 10, Zante saw another week of strong search share growth. Ibiza’s share grew by 66%.
Holiday duration search data recorded four-nights seeing the biggest share increase. Three, seven and 10-night trips all lost share.
Longer durations (14 and 21-night trips) both saw a share of search increase, which iceolly.com said was potentially a consequence of shifting search habits to focus later in the year.