Travelbiz E-Zine
21
June
2024

PATA Reveals Insights into Late Booking Trends and Consumer Behaviour in 2024

A recent survey – ‘PATA Polls’* – conducted by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA UK & Ireland) this month, has provided interesting insights into the ‘late booking’ market and consumer behaviour in 2024. The survey, which polled PATAs travel agent network, asked specific questions about late bookings, factors impacting those bookings and what the most popular destinations are. Agents’ answers highlighted several key findings that shed light on the current travel landscape.

Strong Opportunities for Lates Booking Market

According to the survey results, 39% of the travel agents polled have noticed a trend of late bookings so far in 2024, with 26% of respondents reporting that the late booking trend in 2024 is similar to that of the previous year, 2023.

50% of Agents Report Booking Boost

When asked how bookings fared year on year during May specifically, for travel in summer (July, August, September) almost half of agents (48%) reported an increase in bookings of 10-20%. 22% said booking levels were the same.

Financial Uncertainty Fuels Lates Market

When asked about possible reasons for late bookings (within 30 – 60 days before departure), the survey revealed that 59% of agents said clients financial uncertainty and being wary of committing to a holiday in advance as the primary reason. Furthermore, 27% of travel agents mentioned hopes of securing a last-minute bargain as a factor influencing their clients late booking decisions. Only 9% indicated they were holding out for UK summer weather.

Skyrocketing Airfares Deter Travel

When asked more generally about factors impacting holiday bookings, the survey revealed that 70% of participants cited the increased cost of airfares as a significant influence. Financial uncertainty was also a key factor, with 57% of agents expressing consumer wariness in committing to a holiday in advance.

Asia Ranks 2nd for Summer Travel

For late bookings made in May 2024 for travel during the summer months (June-September), the survey found that not surprisingly Europe was the most popular destination, with 74% of agents selecting it as one of their top sellers. Asia followed closely behind with 57% of agents noting it as a top selling destination. Other popular regions included the Middle East (30%), North America (22%), and the UK (26%).

Thailand Takes The Top Spot

Among the Pacific Asia  countries, Thailand emerged as the most popular choice for late bookings made in May 2024, with an impressive 70% share. Other popular Pacific Asia countries included Australia (40%), Japan (30%), and India and Indonesia (20% each).

Asia Predicted To Claim Number One Position For Future Travel 

Travel agents were also asked to predict destinations that are likely to be booked in June for travel during the summer months. Asia emerged as a top choice, with 52% of respondents selecting it (after Europe which received 78% of the votes), followed by North America (39%)

Positive Outlook for Asia Pacific

When asked about the overall sales performance of the Pacific Asia region in 2024, over a third of agents (36%) indicated that sales were higher than the previous year. Just over a quarter (27%) reported sales being the same as 2023.

John Coles of Kew Bridge Travel and PATA travel agent spokesperson commented:

 “I’ve personally seen a surge in bookings to the Asia Pacific region so far in 2024. Destinations like Malaysia are particularly popular driven by value and accessibility and Indonesia continues to be very desirable offering both luxury and budget accommodation options. The first half of the year has exceeded expectations, and all indicators suggest this trend will continue for 2024. With PATAs continued calendar of training events, engaging more agents than ever, and the collective efforts of our members, 2024 promises to be even more dynamic. Travellers are seeking authentic experiences and sustainable travel options, which align perfectly with what the Asia Pacific region provides. I predict a continued upward growth in bookings this year, solidifying the region as a top choice for travellers in 2024.”

The survey results provide useful intel and a positive guide for agents looking to understand consumer behaviour to better understand and meet evolving trends and preferences of travellers in 2024 and beyond. 

 For more information on the survey results or to view the complete findings, click HERE.

 

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