Escorted tour operator Newmarket Holidays has seen its average long-haul sales values soar by more than 40% above pre-Covid levels as clients are splashing the cash on wish-list holidays.
Richard Forde, head of trade sales, said: “Long-haul bookings are performing well against 2019, and average sales values have increased by over 40%, as the customers are spending more on upgrades, extensions and longer trips.
“Our safari bookings, in particular, are proving very popular among our agent partners and customers are clearly planning ahead.
“A range of departures including 2022 through to 2024 are all driving demand.”
Some of Newmarket Holidays’ most popular current bookings include once-in-a-lifetime, long-haul trips, such as Alaska Cruise and the Canadian Rockies; Elvis Presley’s Memphis, New Orleans and Nashville; Kenya Beach and Safari; and Peru, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.
Forde said clients are keen to make up for lost time over the past two years, adding: “By looking at the recent booking patterns, it’s clear that our customers are not only feeling comfortable to travel again, but they’re even opting for high-ticket holidays that often involve more than one focus.”
More than a dozen Newmarket itineraries have extension options, including new products such as Kruger Safari and South Mozambique Beach, as well as the established and extensive India programme.
The removal of travel restrictions for vaccinated arrivals in the UK and many other European and long-haul destinations, such as South Africa, Canada and Kenya, have also helped buoy bookings and confidence.
“Over the pandemic, it’s reported that an extra £150 billion was saved globally and it’s expected that £15 billion of this will be spent this year. The UK travel industry has the products to tap into this opportunity,” Forde commented.
“We believe we’re seeing customers act on their well-thought-out wish lists from the past two years. It’s really about making up for lost time and we hope that will continue.”
Newmarket Holidays’ current campaign, ‘Reconnect. Reimagine. Rediscover’ is supported by savings of up to 10% until March 31.