Directline Holidays reports sales hike on pay day

Online travel agency Directline Holidays has reported a significant rise in bookings on pay day for the past three months.

The agency, which also dynamically packages its own holidays, has seen sales conversions almost triple on the last Fridays of June and July – traditionally when businesses pay staff.

Chief executive Maria Whiteman, who started in the role three months ago, said the trend was clearly linked to the recession, with consumers trying to manage their cashflow in order to afford a holiday.

She said: “We have seen a real bookings peak in the past three months on the last Friday of each month, even more so for the last month [July].

“Customers would appear to be worried and cannot pay their bills until they get paid. A lot of people have been searching for deals beforehand but it seems they are waiting until pay day to book.”

Whiteman aims to improve the company’s customer retention levels by targeting holidaymakers more effectively. Part of this involves tracking customers’ booking history.

She added: “We can target customers better with the offers we send out; at the moment, for example, we don’t know if they have booked a ski holiday before. There will be a huge benefit if we can get our customer relationship management right.”

The most popular destination being booked through the agency currently is Majorca, followed by Turkey. Visits to the site are 10% up year on year and calls to the call centre are 8%-10% up.

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