Online travel retailers are noticing customers looking to get more bang for their buck based on data from the January sales period so far.
Data from deals publisher icelolly.com suggests holidaymakers searching this January are “cost-conscious” – with a rise in the number of searches for all-inclusive and half board getaways.
Other trends seen at the start of the peak booking period include 40% of searchers looking for four star hotels and as many as 30% searching for five star accommodation.
Cruise, on the Mediterranean in particular, is also on the up, according to searches on the website.
Richard Singer, chief executive of icelolly.com, said: “January searches at icelolly.com highlight that holiday-goers are still cost-conscious, but if they are going to treat themselves to a holiday they want luxury and relaxation.
“We’ve seen searches for holidays with a meal plan – either all inclusive or half board – up by a third versus last year. This is no surprise, as we know that holidaymakers are concerned about exchange rates and this will save them money and remove uncertainty.
“More than 40% of our users are filtering searches to four star resorts, and a further 30% to five star resorts. The message here is loud and clear: Brits this year aren’t just looking for cheap deals, they are seeking out a little luxury.
“Following a 20% rise in searches for cruise holidays at the end of 2017, we’ve now seen a clear trend in rising demand for Mediterranean cruises, which have also jumped up by 20% compared to this time last year.”
Lastminute.com said bookings during January have risen “sharply” compared to last year, with Sunday January 7 bringing in a record number of sales.
A spokesperson said: “With the highest number of bookings, Amsterdam is currently our best-selling destination – plus we’re expecting this to rise further once the Eurostar link has launched, hopefully in the spring. Paris and Barcelona are also looking very strong in terms of numbers of bookings. Meanwhile, Edinburgh and Berlin are also popular city break destinations for 2018, with the biggest increases in bookings compared to January 2017 – 200% and 111% respectively.
“With regards to sunny holidays, Tenerife and Lanzarote continue to grow as firm favourites – but the newcomer is Malta, a fantastic alternative with guaranteed warm weather, whose bookings are already up 89%.”
Kiwi.com’s annual ‘hotlist’ of travel destinations saw Mykonos, Split and Rhodes come out on top in the global study that ranks destinations by how much interest has grown. Mykonos saw a 1000% increase in searches and Split a 500% rise.
Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, Olbia in Italy, Da Nang in Vietnam and Alexandria in Egypt were among the destinations seeing the biggest growth in interest.
Stephen Davis of Kiwi.com said: “We’ve monitored travel searches from around the world in 2017 to reveal some of the latest trends for 2018. Whilst Mykonos, Split and Rhodes are always popular destinations for sun setters and party-goers, we’re seeing a new trend of historical and archaeological trips, with the likes of Riyadh, Olbia and Alexandria featuring in the top ten most searched places.
Meanwhile, OTA Kayak.co.uk revealed its top ten most-searched destinations so far this January to Travolution.
As of January 9, they were:
1) New York