Barrhead Travel reports record-breaking January thanks to bumper holiday bookings

BARRHEAD Travel has recorded the most successful month in its history following huge demand for holiday bookings this January.

Sunshine Saturday – typically the first Saturday in January – initially became the agency’s highest ever day of sales.

It reported a 20% increase on bookings from the previous year, which was quickly overtaken by the following three consecutive Saturdays (13, 20, and 27 January) – making January 2024 the most successful in Barrhead Travel’s history.

Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, says that most customers hope to book several breaks this year

Last year, the group reported a record-breaking year and it expects similar trends of high demand to be sustained during 2024.

With recent poor weather and named storms hitting the UK, the travel agency saw a rush for holidays.

Summer 2024 was the most popular season booked with last-minute getaways, particularly for warmer climates, accounting for around one in five bookings.

According to Barrhead Travel’s booking data, all-inclusive holidays remain the most popular type of holidays for the year ahead with 30% of customers choosing this as an option.

Cruise holidays are also on the rise and Barrhead Travel say they have seen a significant increase of 25% for holidays at sea so far this year.

Following the surge in bookings, Barrhead Travel has revealed the top 10 most booked destinations so far, with the top spot being Tenerife.

Mallorca and Alicante rounded off the top three, with Barbados, Barcelona, Alicante, and Turkey also making the top ten.

Cruising from Southampton was the number five choice, while Canada and Orlando took the final two spots in the list.

Summer 2024 is making up over half of new bookings but the travel agent says there is still healthy demand for late breaks accounting for one in five bookings in January.

The firm’s booking data indicates that holidaymakers are seeking out longer breaks, with the average length of stay now at ten days – up from nine in 2023.

Holidaymakers are also choosing to upgrade their trips, with higher room categories and business class bookings seeing an increase by up to 30% compared with 2023.

Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said: “This January, we have seen record numbers of people locking in their holidays for the year ahead.

“It’s one of the best times of year to book with many operators, hotels and airlines having fantastic sales on.

“There are still brilliant offers in the market – we’ve got hundreds of free child places and plenty of low deposit options still on sale.

“Demand has yet to slow down – we’re already off to a fantastic start in February.

“As well as continued interest in summer holidays, we’re starting to notice more last-minute enquiries for Easter school holidays coming through.

“Most customers we’re speaking to are telling us they hope to book several breaks this year, if they can.

“The desire to book with a travel agent is clearly on the rise.

“Our experts are very excited to work with their customers to help their budget go as far as possible and get the holiday they’ve been dreaming of.”