Mr Altham, who is Group Chief Commercial Officer at Awaze – the parent company of Hoseasons – says it’s clear from the self-catering specialist’s recent bookings data that people want to make the most of their time off in 2022, and that means taking breaks across the year, not just during the traditional peak holiday periods.
Speaking off the back of a 57% increase in March bookings made between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve compared to the same period in 2019, and an 11% rise in total first quarter bookings, he said: “Christmas and New Year are always great booking periods for us, but the clear difference this year is the increased demand for off-peak breaks, particularly between now and the end of March.
“Early bookers have always tended to favour the school holiday periods in previous years, and they’re continuing to sell well, but it’s the weeks and weekends in between where we’re seeing the real growth.
The trend is reflected in travel trade performance with festive agency sales for March double what they were over the same period in 2019, and Mr Altham pointing to Covid as a contributory factor in the surge.
“These stats show two things – one, that customers lucky enough to spend time with their nearest and dearest over Christmas were reminded of how good it is to get together, and so want to do that all over again as soon as possible, and two, that people who may have had their festive plans disrupted by Covid are booking early year staycations to make up for it instead. Either way the virus hasn’t dented the Great British public’s desire to get away, and that’s great news for our owners, partners in the trade, and anyone connected with the UK tourism economy.”
Mr Altham also pointed to the success of the brand’s Relive the Good Times TV ad which began airing on Boxing Day and runs until January 16.
The ad features a diverse cast of families, couples and groups of friends enjoying each other’s company in a variety of relaxing settings, including cosy cottages, luxury lodges with hot tubs and action-packed parks.
Yorkshire is currently Hoseasons’ most popular destination for first quarter bookings, while pet-friendly bookings for the year across the brand’s portfolio of luxury lodges, cottages, parks and boats are up a third on where they were at the same point in 2020.
For more information about Hoseasons visit www.hoseasons.co.uk
Hoseasons is one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with more than 40,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain. From lodges and parks, to boats, cottages and apartments, the brand offers the widest available range of self-catering holidays in the UK. Hoseasons accommodates more than 2 million holidaymakers and more than 100,000 pets every year and is part of Awaze – Europe’s leading managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business. For additional information visit www.hoseasons.co.uk