Expedia data shows benefit for UK hoteliers in package revival

A ‘marked increase’ in demand for holiday packages is benefiting UK hotels, an Expedia study shows.

First quarter data shows that guests booking a package (flight or car, plus hotel) stayed a day and a half longer on average and booked more than three weeks further in advance than those only booking hotel rooms.

Package guests to the UK stayed more than three nights on average, whereas travellers booking standalone room nights stayed just over one and a half.

People booking packages also booked nearly a month and a half in advance, while those booking a standalone room night waited almost a month later to book.

Other key findings include:

  • Travel demand for holiday packages to the UK increased by a fifth in the first quarter of 2014 when compared to the same period last year.
  • The top international markets for package holidays to the UK were the US, France, Germany and Italy.
  • The fastest growing international markets included Spain, Holland and Japan.
  • Package travellers who stayed the longest in the UK came from Canada, Japan and the US.

The UK destinations that ranked top for package stays in the UK were London, Edinburgh and the Channel Islands. Manchester was the fastest growing holiday package destination, seeing an increase in demand of almost 30%.

Expedia market management senior director for northern Europe Isabelle Pinson said: “Our data shows travellers booking holiday packages plan and book their trip almost a month further in advance, they stay more than a day longer and we also know cancellation rates are lower – that has a direct impact on a hotel’s bottom line.”

She added: “We encourage our hotel partners to discuss the options available for package offers, particularly in the build up to a busy summer, after a winter punctuated with poor weather.

“With several airlines announcing new routes into the UK recently, this is a prime time to consider holiday package offers.”

Apex Hotels leisure sales director Louise Leisk said: “It’s crucial for Apex Hotels to increase brand awareness and compete with the larger hotel chains on a global scale.

“Participation in the packaging initiative has helped us grow our international business through the Expedia channel. With new flight routes being added to key cities, such as London and Edinburgh, it enables us to capture new consumer markets.”

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