Enquiries have risen to their highest rate since the launch of TTG’s Travel Agent Tracker back in April.
Three-quarters of Week 9 respondents said they took new holiday enquiries during the week ending 5 June, up 7%. Meanwhile, nearly half of all respondents also confirmed they received more enquiries during Week 9 than they did in Week 8.
Sales are also steadily rebounding; more than a third of respondents (35%, up 2%) reported an increase in sales over the past week, while the number of respondents who actually made sales during Week 9 increased marginally to 47%.
The momentum comes despite quarantine dominating national and trade press headlines, with one in three respondents citing quarantine as the biggest issue currently facing their businesses.
“Customers are angry," said one. "Quarantine should have been introduced in March, not now when the rest of Europe is in a much better position than the UK.”
Another said: “The quarantine measures are a real worry, with no guidance on how long this could be in place for. It’s making our jobs a million times harder.”
Other issues raised included forward availability of flights, securing 2021 pricing, and managing client expectations – particularly on refunds.
More than half of respondents (52%) said customers were showing interest in European Mediterranean destinations, up 4% on Week 8, likely bolstered by speculation around air bridges, which would allow UK arrivals – including returning holidaymakers – to forgo quarantine. Domestic interest increased 1% to 17.5%.
Respondents with clients showing interest in beach breaks increased 6% to 54%, up from 40% a fortnight ago, while cruise interest remained steady at around 23%.
However, in terms of sales, only 36.5% of respondents took beach bookings in Week 9 compared with 20% taking cruise bookings, indicating a stronger rate of conversion on cruise interest.
This could be explained by the ongoing uncertainty over summer 2020 travel, and the cruise sector more heavily incentivising future travel.
The tracker data also appears to confirm "when" is currently more important than "what"; 23% of respondents report taking winter 2020 bookings, 33% spring 2021, and 39% summer 2021, with a further 9% saying they have taken bookings even further out.
This compares with just 8% taking summer 2020 bookings, and 12% autumn 2020.
Respondents said Jet2holidays, Travel 2, Gold Medal and Kuoni continued to lead on supplier contact, with notable mentions this week for Wendy Wu Tours, Olympic Holidays and Iberostar.
Several respondents also highlighted Hoseasons, which reopened agency sales channels last month.
Ama Waterways, Sunvil and Aito were praised for their webinars, while one respondent said Premier Holidays has kept in touch "via their excellent BDMs".
The latest survey saw 136 respondents.