- ATOL research into British holiday booking habits reveals that almost half of travellers book at least seven days in advance, giving themselves the chance to plan, pack and prepare for the holidays;
- However, ATOL's findings show almost one in ten are willing to leave it to the last few days before they depart, with a staggering three million people happy to book on the actual day of their departure;
- Regional variations show that holidaymakers in London are nearly twice as likely as the rest of Great Britain to have booked on the same day;
- New Norwegian website feature allows travellers to filter flight destinations based on the user’s desired temperature at the time of travel.
With the last school half-term break before the summer holidays just days away, ATOL’s investigations will provide a significant fillip for airlines and hotels still with empty seats and room vacancies for the popular getaway period. Its research into how late Great Britain’s population are likely to leave booking holidays certainly delivers some insightful observations.
It seems that almost half of travellers book at least seven days in advance, giving themselves the chance to plan, pack and prepare for the holidays. However, almost one in ten (8%) are willing to leave it to the last few days before they depart, with a staggering three million people happy to leave booking their holiday until the actual day of their departure.
Interestingly when asked how late they leave booking, more men on average were prepared to consider last minute bookings, however when the same people were asked how late they had actually booked, there was very little difference between men and women.
The research also revealed some regional differences in late booking habits. Holidaymakers in London are nearly twice as likely as the rest of Great Britain to have booked on the same day (9%). There is also a tendency for those in the North West to consider booking their holiday just a few days before (19% versus 15% across the nation as a whole).
Travellers now planning to book flight only deals with Norwegian can take advantage of a brand-new feature on its website that allows them to find their next destination based on their preferred temperature. The airline’s new digital route map can now filter destinations based on the user’s desired temperature at the time of travel. Users can select a temperature range in the filter menu which ranges from minus 15 degrees Celsius to 30+ degrees Celsius. The route map also supports temperature in Fahrenheit.
Users can also filter destination results based on month of travel, budget limit and type of destination. “We’re delighted to be the first low-cost carrier in the UK to allow consumers to choose from destinations based on their preferred temperature,” says Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian. “By investing in enhancing our website, our new digital route map can not only make our expanding global network and lowest fares more visible to customers but also makes it much easier to decide where to fly with us next.”
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence and by law every UK-based travel company that sells air holidays has to have one and issue an ATOL certificate as soon as customers pay any money towards their trip. It was first introduced in 1973, as the popularity of overseas holidays grew. After a number of travel company failures left people stranded, the UK Government realised consumers required protection should firms in the unregulated travel sector fall into difficulties.
Now, if a travel company with an ATOL ceases trading, the ATOL scheme protects customers who had booked holidays with the firm. It ensures they do not get stranded abroad or lose money. The scheme is designed to reassure consumers that their money is safe, and will provide assistance in the event of a travel company failure.
The most high profile recent collapse was Monarch Airlines, which ceased trading in Oct-2017 and lead to the largest ever repatriation of British holidaymarkers. Its ATOL bonded business included Monarch Holidays Ltd, First Aviation Ltd and Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939). But since then the CAA website lists a further seven ATOL protected travel companies that have collapsed, including this month’s failures of London-based Mert Selim Ltd, which traded under the names Gezinet London and Parade Travel, and Peterborough-based ER Marketing, which operated as 5 Senses Travel and Inspirational Travel.