The UK Holiday Group sees bookings boom
21st September 2009
Escorted tours specialist The UK Holiday Group is set for a healthy rise in bookings, thanks largely to the boom in demand for domestic travel.
The parent firm of over-55s specialist Grand UK Holidays expects to carry almost 100,000 holidaymakers in 2009, up from about 90,000 in 2008.
Sales have been particularly strong for Grand UK’s sister company Glenton Holidays which sells tours to customers in Scotland and North East England.
It saw summer bookings soar by 100% on last year, due to rising interest in its UK holidays, and overall it expects to be at least 25% up for 2009.
The UK Holiday Group has also seen record sales in its group travel division - just for groups! – buoyed by demand from special interest and hobby groups.
Grand UK Holidays has seen summer bookings growth, while October bookings are already 10% ahead of last year’s figures, and extra capacity is being added for festive tours.
Sales director Harold Burke said about 86% of Grand UK’s holidays are sold via the trade and the support of agents is a key factor in the firm’s success.
He said “It has been a difficult time for the industry in general but we have kept growing and expect to see continued growth in 2010 as holidays remain top of the ‘must do’ list.
“We have continued to make progress without the need to resort to discounting, which has a very negative impact on loyal customers who tend to book early and as such like to feel rewarded rather than penalised.”
He urged agents to continue supporting operators such as Grand UK which sell via the trade.
“We are launching our 2010 brochure soon and hope that our ever-changing product range will give agents more opportunities to sell holidays throughout the year to a loyal base of customers,” he added.
Earlier this year, Grand UK Holidays unveiled a partnership with Age Concern to operate holidays on behalf of the national charity under the Age Concern Holidays brand.
Founded by managing director Paul Bennett in 1984, The UK Holiday Group sells trips by coach, air, sea and rail and also runs nine hotels under the Grand UK Hotels brand.