High quality resorts with great offers are now outperforming cheaper deals in lower grade hotels as long-haul holidaymakers respond to package deals featuring the biggest savings, according to Hayes & Jarvis' latest trend report.
In an erratic year for long-haul travel, buffeted by fuel increases, political upheaval, strikes and riots, natural disasters and the world economic crisis, the operator reports that 2011's clear winners have been destinations and resorts that offer the most consistent value and savings.
The company's Autumn Package Price Index confirms that savings can currently top £600 per person for a week's holiday (four-star all-inclusive Barbados package, £949 per person, down from £1,549) and reveals that lead-in prices have fallen in four of the 15 resorts surveyed compared with a year ago. The biggest falls were in Brazil, down 18% and Barbados, 14%.
The biggest winner throughout this year has been Mexico, which is currently showing a sales growth of more than 300% year-on-year. All-inclusive hotel offers and BA's direct service to Cancun, soon to be joined by a twice-weekly Virgin service, have made Mexico a success for the operator and the year's fastest growing destination.
The operator's commercial director Niel Alobaidi said: "Mexico has benefited from having a ready supply of good quality all-inclusive resorts that have been offering some amazing savings to attract British bargain-hunters. As a result not only are we seeing tremendous demand for winter packages but also for next summer, when head to head competition between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic on the London-Cancun route should make prices very keen.
"All-inclusive packages now account for almost all of our Mexico bookings and for most of our Caribbean and Central America ones too. This may help to explain why six of our top ten fastest growing destinations this year have been from these regions."