• SUNSHINE SATURDAY – 7TH JANUARY PREDICTED TO BE BUSIEST DAY OF YEAR FOR HOLIDAY BOOKINGS

    SUNSHINE SATURDAY – 7TH JANUARY PREDICTED TO BE BUSIEST DAY OF YEAR FOR HOLIDAY BOOKINGS

    6 January 2017 – Thomson and First Choice predict a rise in all-inclusive holidays as Brits seek value for money following Brexit

    Nearly one million people expected to visit a Thomson featuring First Choice store or website this Saturday

    More than 27,500 customers expected to book in the next 24 hours

    Holiday bookings expected to peak at 2.07pm in store and 4.02pm online

    Mobile and tablet bookings expected to hit all time high with 43% of bookings made on devices

    ‘Sunshine Saturday’ (Saturday 7th January 2017) is predicted to be the busiest day of the year for holiday bookings according to leading holiday companies Thomson and First Choice.

    Following Brexit, the leading holiday companies are predicting a rise in all-inclusive bookings as savvy Brits seek value from their holiday experiences, with Thomson and First Choice expecting to see more than 27,500 customers book a holiday for 2017 on ‘Sunshine Saturday’. Currently for 2017, Thomson has already seen all-inclusive holidays make up over half (53%) of bookings for the coming year.

    The holiday companies are expecting nearly one million holiday-seekers to go online or visit their high street stores this Saturday, with bookings predicted to peak in-store at 2.07pm specifically and online at 4.02pm, with Thomson Gateshead Metro Centre expected to be the busiest store on the day.

    A new mobile booking record for 2017 is also predicted to be set. Thomson and First Choice are forecasting more people than ever before will search for and book their holiday on a tablet or smartphone. Forty-three per cent of the online bookings made this Saturday are expected to be made via these devices, up 4% versus last year (2016).

    Short and mid-haul beach destinations such as the Balearics, mainland Greece and the islands of Corfu and Rhodes will continue to remain firm favourites with Brits according to Thomson, however far flung, long-haul hotspots are again expected to top the wish list in 2017. With more than three-quarters of people (77%) happy to travel more than nine hours to find their perfect break, many more are expected to book exotic holidays in 2017 with Vietnam, Cuba’s Cayo Santa Maria and St Lucia topping the list of predicted ‘hot’ long-haul destinations next year.

    Following this theme, Thomson Cruises will also see long-haul a focus for winter 2017 with more ships based in the Caribbean than ever before and exciting new ports of call added. Thomson Cruises’ Caribbean Gems and Coral Islands winter itineraries on-board the Thomson Celebration will allow passengers to explore countries like the Dominican Republic from the ship’s new home port of La Romana. All-inclusive ships TUI Discovery and new addition TUI Discovery 2 will also be joining Thomson Celebration in the Caribbean and will sail out of Bridgetown, Barbados and Montego Bay, Jamaica respectively. Recently named ‘Best New Ship’ TUI Discovery will sail new itineraries Tropical Horizons and Seven Isles from Barbados, which include new ports of call St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

    Taking all these holidaymakers away over the coming year, Thomson Airways is estimated to carry over 180,000 tonnes of luggage, flying over 107 million miles to 92 holiday destinations.

    Andrew Flintham, Commercial Director for Thomson and First Choice said: “With plenty of great deals on offer, we’ve already seen a rise in all-inclusive bookings for 2017 as customers seek value for money from their holiday experiences following the Brexit decision.

    “This year will see Brits travelling to more exotic destinations such as Vietnam and Cuba, with our multi-centre and city break holidays making long-haul destinations more accessible than ever before.”

     

    ‘Hot spot’ predictions for 2017:

    Vietnam – The stunning beach island of Phu Quoc, off the coast of Vietnam, is the latest long-haul destination to be added to Thomson’s long-haul line up. Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and is fringed with white-sand beaches ideal for relaxing, and features dense, tropical jungle and stunning reefs, perfect for intrepid explorers.

    Cayo Santa Maria – Often referred to as Cuba’s best kept secret, Cayo Santa Maria is a truly secluded beach paradise and marks the growth of the Thomson and First Choice programme in Cuba. Just 1.2 miles wide and 10 miles long, the island’s main attraction is its eight mile stretch of white sandy beach. Connected by a 30 mile causeway from mainland Cuba and next to neighbouring resorts of Cayo Ensenachos and Cayo Las Brujas, the hidden gem is located in the Bahía de Buena Vista.

    New York – Possibly one of the most famous cities in the world, New York is set to be back at the top of bucket lists across the UK next year. With skyscraping sights, plenty of museums and fashion houses galore, holidays to New York will keep customers wide-eyed from dawn to dusk.

    Singapore – Singapore is one of only five city-states in the world, which means it’s both a city and a country in one. Residents call it the Lion City and this powerful creature symbolises it in many ways. Singapore is an important business hub, with an impressive financial and economic status and is a melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian culture.

    Sardinia – The island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea isn’t short of beautiful weather boasting temperatures of around 30 degrees in July and August.  Look out for the A list celebs who have been spotted holidaying around glamorous harbour town Porto Cervo, found along the Costa Smeralda, often described as the ‘Emerald Coast’.