Coronavirus hit on prices not as steep as Brexit, claims TravelSupermarket

Coronavirus hit on prices not as steep as Brexit, claims TravelSupermarket

Average cost of holidays being booked for travel between April and August is ahead of last year when Brexit uncertainty forced heavy discounting

Latest figures from holiday comparison site TravelSupermarket has shown prices for this year are below 2018 levels but ahead of last year despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The website released data on Wednesday showing that the average cost of holidays being booked for travel between April and August is £599.22.

This is 4% lower than in 2018 but ahead of £498.31 seen this time last year when Brexit uncertainty was forcing holiday companies to offer heavy discounts to stimulate demand.

The figures combined short-haul and long-haul and were based on live pricing data between February 28 and March 2 before the recent upsurge in coronavirus cases confirmed in the UK and the first death in England.

TravelSupermarket described package holiday prices as “steady” and that it was seeing discounts in long-haul destinations like Thailand, St Lucia, Mauritius, Barbados and the Maldives.

Some parts of Greece, Turkey and Spain were cheaper than last year, while demand for the US was up.

Emma Grimster said: “Analysing package holiday prices this year vs last, figures are in line with where we would expect them to be, overall.

“We need to remember, the impact of Brexit uncertainty in March 2019 saw package holiday prices heavily discounted.

“Previous research from TravelSupermarket found Easter holidays in 2019 were up to 24% cheaper than 2018.”

The destinations which have seen the biggest price drops are Phuket (-25%), St Lucia (-24%), Mauritius (-11%), Barbados (-6%) and the Maldives (-5%). Dubai was 4% cheaper year on year.

In terms of search activity the top 10 destinations were dominated by US and Spain, with New York, Las Vegas, Majorca, Benidorm and Orlando making up the top five.

Benalmadena on the Costa Del Sol in Spain saw the biggest leap in search activity of 111% followed by Salou on the Costa Dorada (62%).

The destinations that have seen the biggest slump in searches included Venice (-83%), Costa Brava (-83%), Sardinia (-76%), Tenerife (-75%), Fuerteventura (-71%).

As consumers are advised to buy package holidays to protect themselves amid the coronavirus outbreak, TravelSupermarket has also seen demand for travel insurance leap 85%

This number was based on visitors to the website’s travel insurance page on February 24 to March 3 2020 versus the nine days previous (February 15-23).

Grimster said: “Despite Coronavirus dominating the news, people are still searching for holidays and trying to get the best deal they can.

“In terms of demand, we’ve seen a rise in the number of people looking to visit some areas of the USA, year on year.

“New York, Las Vegas and Orlando are all in the top five destinations searched for last weekend, with searches for Las Vegas found to be up 60% versus the same period last year.

“Advice for people going ahead and booking either a last-minute deal, or a holiday later in the year, is to purchase a travel insurance policy as soon as you book.

“Read the detail to make sure you know exactly what your policy covers you for, and if in doubt, call up your provider to chat it though.”