19 February, 2008: Agents remain optimistic about the prospects for holiday bookings in 2008, despite the credit squeeze and economic slow down.
As many as 38% of independents expect holiday bookings to go up by 5% to 10% in 2008 compared with last year. Another 23% of agents are predicting even bigger increases of 10% and more.
Only 6% expect holiday bookings to be down in 2008, according to the poll of 1,000 indpendents carried out by field marketing company The Network last month.
The poll found that 17% expect Australia to see the biggest rise in long haul bookings. Other top long haul destinations tipped to do well in 2008 include the US and Dubai.
Fifteen per cent of agents predicted the biggest increase in short haul holiday bookings would be to Greece – and another 15% favoured Italy as the most likely winner for holidays in 2008. Spain and Egypt came third and fourth respectively.
Regular surveys will be undertaken by The Network of retail travel agents and the results published in ´Perspectives´ reports.
Business development director Paula Lacey said: "The prospects for 2008 holiday bookings through the trade are hugely encouraging.
"This first ´Perspectives´ survey demonstrates the value of talking directly to travel agents to gain up-to-date market intelligence."