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Not Just Travel reports post-Christmas confidence boost

Steve Witt, co-founder of the travel firm, has said confidence and bookings for international travel is increasingly positive as the industry heads into 2022.  

Not Just Travel has reported a 50% year-on-year increase in bookings from the post-Christmas period- with positive news on Omicron increasing consumer confidence. Short breaks are proving a popular option, with nearly half (43%) of all bookings made for travel in the next 12 weeks.

“People want to escape and enjoy warmth and sunshine, they are not worried about travel restrictions which we predict will ease accordingly,” says Steve Witt. 

“Pre-Christmas sales were down because the situation was still uncertain and people were waiting for their booster jabs. Now as things progress, confidence is building again.

Continuing, Steve explained: "the traditional model of Peak sales, where there is a huge rush to book on Boxing Day onwards, has also changed. We won’t see quite such a big extreme peak in January. Demand will be high, but will remain high and not dip like it normally does. It’s going to be more like South Africa’s Table Mountain rather than a steep peak and drop-off.

“2022 “Peaks” will be elongated but we’ll see a big surge again for last-minute bookings too. Lapland Christmas trips for 2022 are so in demand that they’ve almost sold-out already."

Along with surges across last minute and cruise holidays, Not Just Travel has also welcomed a rise in cruise sales.

"Cruise sales have increased four-fold on this time last year as people new to cruises enjoyed 2021 ‘seacations’ in British waters." 

Steve Witt says: “Cruise will be big in 2022, fuelled by the plethora of ‘seacations’ which happened in 2021. Many people first experienced the luxurious facilities of cruise ships in 2021 and liked what they saw. They now want to travel abroad as they’ve also realised cruising health and safety standards are very high.”

On average, Not Just Travel's cruising customers are spending nearly £2,000 more on cruise holidays compared to other styles of travel.

“We are also experiencing a bigger demand for booking through Personal Travel Consultants because consumers want to talk to someone so they can talk and ask questions. They want to know that their money is protected and that someone is researching all the best options for them. Knowing there is someone on the end of a phone to talk through any issues or changes is also highly reassuring.”

Experience-led holidays are on the rise too, as customers look to escape their domestic travel options and push their traveling horizons. 

With cancellations spreading into many holidaymakers' 2021 plans, there is expected to be reduced availability throughout 2022 and 2023, with Not Just Travel encouraging its consumers to get in early to avoid disappointment, or learning to be flexible with new booking protections and amendment options. 

68% of bookings from the last seven days have been for couples or adult-only holidays, with 31% for summer 2022 family holidays. 

Dubai was the top-selling destination on Christmas day, with Spain and the Canaries, the USA and the Greek Islands proving popular over the last seven days.

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