With companies such as TUI Travel and Thomas Cook seeing their profits nose-diving and the collapse of tour operator Goldtrail Holidays, the travel industry has certainly been suffering over recent months but online coach holidays consolidator Door2Tour.com has bucked the overall trend by reporting record sales for July 2010. They have seen a record 63% sales increase for coach holidays in July 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, despite the current economic downturn and the chaos surrounding the erupting Eyjafjallajkull volcano in Iceland.
Whilst the likes of Thomas Cook have seen their takings down by 9% for the 3 months leading up to July, Door2Tour.com has seen booming sales up by 123% compared to 2009, which is mainly due to surges in holiday searches for both UK Tours and Disney Breaks, with Day Trips seeing the largest increase of 202%. The surge for UK coach tours & day trips proves that more consumers are opting for staycations rather than European coach tours, as they are likely to get a much better deal and possibly avoid unnecessary hassle.
The decline in the allure of Europe is reflected by Door2Tour.com’s decrease of 47% in revenue generated by sales for European tours compared to 2009, likely to be caused by consumers remaining cautious about the Volcanic Ash incident and preferring to holiday closer to home to avoid a repeat of the air space chaos during Apr/May 2010. Holidaying in Europe is also proving to be more expensive for consumers due to the strength of the Euro compared to the Pound. Factors such as the recurring British Airways cabin crew strikes, potential strikes by other Airlines, protests by dockworkers in France as well as the economic unrest & current hostility in Greece have also made consumers more cautious about holidaying on the Continent.
Kate Glanfield, Web Manager of Door2Tour.com, said: “With the collapse of tour operators, unresolved disputes with the airlines and the Volcanic Ash incident still in people’s minds, consumers are much more alert to potential risks when booking a holiday, and coach holidays minimise that risk. UK search trends for coach holiday related terms on Google are already up on last year, which just goes to show that more and more consumers are seeing coach holidays as a reliable way to travel.”
In contrast, Door2Tour.com has found that coach operators continue to enjoy level and even stronger sales compared to 2009, due to coach travel being a more reliable source of transportation compared to cars, planes & train; more than 9 million people opt for coach tours compared to any other holiday. Coach tourism is also one of the UK’s biggest travel sectors with nearly 7 million people booking coach holidays in the UK during 2009.
Kate concluded: “The coach industry is enjoying a booming year with the likes of operators like Glenton Holidays predicting record bookings. This area of the travel industry is extremely robust at the moment, with most operators already focusing their product range on UK tours as standard, which is where the demand currently is.”