The first figures for bookings at tour operators for this winter are "incredible" after a summer "with very good performance", both in number of travelers and turnover, according to the Union of Tour Operating Companies (Seto).
"The big surprise is this winter's bookings. It's unbelievable. We thought that what we had managed to do at the restart in 2022 or even on the summer of 2023, would calm down this winter. This is not the case," René-Marc Chikli, president of Seto, told reporters on the eve of the opening of the IFTM Top Resa tourism professionals show in Paris.
The first booking figures for winter 2023-2024 (from November 1 to April 30) are up 40% year-on-year for a turnover also up 41.6%. These "very good prospects are to be considered with caution in relation to possible events disrupting the activity", nuances, however, the Seto.
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"How long will it last?"
"There is a strong comeback of Asia," said Mr. Chikli, "Thailand is starting again and Indonesiaalso thanks to Bali" and "Japanis selling very well". In terms of travellers, Mauritius topped the podium with a 25% increase in bookings, followed by Egypt (+192%), Morocco (+65.8%) and the Dominican Republic (-22%).
"The winter numbers are surprising. People have decided to invest in travel. How long will it last?" asked René-Marc Chikli during the presentation of these figures to the press.
The summer was also good for the 70 tour operators in Seto who anticipate, from May 1 to October 31, a turnover up 27.7% to 3.035 billion euros.
"People want to travel"
For package tours (package tours including transport and accommodation), the core business of tour operators, the number of customers over the same period increased by 11% to more than 1.651 million travelers for a turnover of 2.18 billion euros (+16%).
Tunisia, Greece, the Balearic Islands and Morocco are leading this summer's medium-haul destinations and Mauritius, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Canada are leading long-haul destinations.
"People want to travel," according to René-Marc Chikli. Despite inflation, despite natural disasters, "there is a sanctified side" to the trip, according to the Seto president.