Record start to the year for Lowestoft holiday firm

Simon Altham

Simon Altham - Credit: Keiron Tovell Photography

EDP Top100 firm Hoseasons is celebrating a record-breaking start to the year in terms of online and call centre holiday bookings.

The Lowestoft-based company, part of international group Wyndham Vacation Rentals, enjoyed a red hot start to the coldest month of the year with its busiest online booking day ever on Sunday, January 11.

Topping that, the following week yielded a record number of online and call centre bookings over a seven-day period.

Managing-director Simon Altham said: 'There is obviously a trend towards online bookings these days but the following week's figures confirm the growth in demand.'

He said last week's figures had revealed bookings for lodges and parks 10pc up on the same time last year, while Norfolk Broads boating had shown even stronger growth, 20pc up.

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The most popular area was the South West with a 27pc increase in sales, accounting for nearly 50pc of the total holiday searches on the company's website. Cornwall was the best overall performing county, with a 33pc increase, while Devon was not far behind with 23pc.

'2014 was a very good year for domestic tourism, and we often find this has a strong impact on early sales the following year as people book early to get the best choice and deals,' said Mr Altham.

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'However, there is an increasing trend towards late bookings and I really was not expecting such a flying start to January.'

Mr Altham believes Hoseasons' increased investment in television advertising - 'we have got a fully national campaign this year' - has played an important role.

'We have seen from the data we are getting that people are responding to the ad,' he said.

'The improving economy is also a key factor; many people are thinking about taking more than one holiday this year and the UK is well-positioned for the short break market.

'We also believe that our rebrand and new marketing strategies are beginning to have an impact on the business as we attract new audiences looking for their second or third holiday a little closer to home in top quality, stylish coastal and countryside settings.'

Hoseasons' closer working relationship with sister companies on the continent was already reaping rewards with website figures reflecting growing interest in Broads breaks from German and Dutch families.

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