TUI Travel specialist long-haul division managing director Clare Tobin said late sales were up but with vastly reduced lead-in times.
“We are up year-on-year significantly on all brands, but we are seeing a change from people booking six to 18 months in advance to four to six weeks.”
She added: “We have had the luxury in the past of being able to look so far out, but long haul has become the new short haul.”
To boost winter bookings, Hayes and Jarvis has launched a Going the Extra Mile campaign, which focuses on value offerings on 5,000 holidays if booked by the end of September.
Meanwhile, Tobin said the group would focus on key relationships with suppliers to boost volumes and keep costs down. She said the policy had proved successful with Hayes and Jarvis, which dropped charter flights to base its holidays purely on scheduled flights.
She warned: “It’s easy to become a low-margin business. We’ve got a flexible model now and no risk at all in our business.”
She hinted the group would similarly review partnerships across other brands. “It’s got to be about partnerships that comes to fruition in times like this.”