Elegant Resorts has had its best sales week since the Covid-19 crisis took hold in March, reporting a record number of bookings to winter sun destinations.
The luxury operator said demand was due to a renewed confidence boost following recent announcements around the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.
The Caribbean and the Indian Ocean are leading the way, with bookings to St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados, as well as the Maldives – thanks to travel corridor announcements – doing well.
Average booking value has been a healthy £31,000, which managing director Lisa Fitzell said was “well above our usual average” and even a 48% increase on ABV from the same week last year.
She added there was a “real surge in last-minute reservations for the festive period with clients keen to see off 2020 in style”, and said all holidays booked this week are for travel before April 2021.
“Our clients are desperate to travel again, and the recent vaccine news has given them the boost they needed to make this first step. There are some incredibly good deals around at the moment so it is definitely worth making the most of this opportunity,” Fitzell said. “It is worth noting, however, that the Maldives and Dubai are very busy for the end of year, while the Caribbean still has availability.”
She said bookings were a steady mix of direct and via agents.
“We have seen some good bookings come in this week from agents; we have been supporting the trade throughout the crisis, looking after affected bookings, adapting and responding to the market conditions proactively and checking in with our agents often,” Fitzell said.
“The recent Elegant Promise launch to help boost confidence in bookings, as well as our recent Maldives webinar, has helped drive new enquiries and bookings from the trade too. Overall, the news of the roll-out of the vaccine combined with more destinations to sell and our reputation as an operator who has handled the crisis very well with our agents, have all been helping.”
The operator has also just held its first virtual training event for agents, providing a 1.5 hour session on key luxury resorts in the Maldives, hosted by head of agency sales Jon Hardcastle, along with a business update from managing director Lisa Fitzell.