Abta has forecast a “leap” in the number of consumers booking summer getaways, saying that past experience pointed towards a sales boost after a home nation’s role in a major sporting event had ended.
England were knocked out of the tournament in the semi-finals earlier this week by Croatia, with the association reporting that “thousands of proud fans” had delayed their holiday plans to follow England’s progress at home.
Taking to Twitter to describe the impending late bookings, Derek Jones, chief executive of Der Touristik UK, called the phenomenon the Southgate Surge, after England manager Gareth Southgate, who has become somewhat of a cult figure for fans over the course of the tournament.
We had that in the bag...— Derek Jones (@Degsycom) July 11, 2018
Still, great tournament!
Loved every minute of it.
And now it’s time to sell holidays!!
Ready for the #SouthgateSurge!!
Football mad industry members – including Jones – had previously donned waistcoats in honour of Southgate ahead of the crunch knockout game on "Waistcoat Wednesday".
Replying to Jones on Twitter, Richard Dixon, director of Holidaysplease, said predictions of such a surge “appear to be bang on the money”.
Considering other factors that could herald a boost in bookings, Abta said a cooling in temperatures towards the end of this week could help.
Bookings were reported to have slowed due to the longest spell of warm weather in the UK since the 1970s, with consumers flocking to traditional domestic seaside resorts instead of going overseas.
Victoria Bacon, Abta’s director of brand and business development, said: “There are still some great deals to be had from Abta members to keep the feel good factor going with a break in the sun or a holiday at home.
“They won’t last for long – so anyone wishing to head off on holiday should book sooner rather than later.”