Online holiday sales jump 14% in August

The number of holidays bought online in the peak month of August jumped 14% year-on-year, a new study shows.

But the lower value of booked holidays suggests the travel sector dropped prices to lure holidaymakers online for late summer deals, according to latest results from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

British shoppers spent £4.4 billion overall online last month, equivalent to £72 per person.

The poor weather had an impact on the travel sector. Despite the average basket value of just £580, compared to £652 in August 2009, the number of holidays bought online saw a year-on-year increase of 14%.

“With low basket values, it is clear airlines have dropped their prices in an effort to lure holidaymakers online for end of summer holiday deals,” the research company said. 

August was a particularly strong month for multi-channel retailers, showing a year-on-year growth of 25%, suggesting high street brands are recognising the “overwhelming benefits” of a strong online offering.
Capgemini head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said: “The weather and the need for holiday providers to lower their prices to tempt travellers into last minute bookings are the most likely reasons behind the growth in the travel sector.” head of sales David Strattton said: “August saw a continuation of positive year-on-year online growth, bolstered by the coldest August in the UK since 1993 and twice the average monthly rainfall in some areas.
“Specifically, airport parking bookings increased 13% year on year, airport hotel bookings +7% , and overall +9%.

“There was strong growth regionally, including Liverpool (+41% year on year), Luton (+34%) and Manchester (+29%). These regional successes compare well with Gatwick (+5%) and Heathrow (+10%).”

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