Data from Travel Republic shows that there has been a surge in demand for spontaneous winter sun escapes for early 2023. Jenny Southan reports

Online travel agent Travel Republic, which is part of Dnata UK and owned by the Emirates Group, has revealed it saw a record number of hits on its website during the Christmas 2022 period, with the majority of bookings made for last minute long-haul trips.

Antonio Fellino, managing director, Travel Republic, says: “The trends over the last few days have been super interesting. Last-minute long-haul breaks have so far out-performed summer 2023 bookings, showing that the cost-of-living increases and economic doom and gloom are not deterring the nation from booking their holidays.

“We were expecting to see strong demand for summer 2023 bookings, as we always do at this time of the year because there are so many fantastic deals around, but pleasantly surprised to see demand so strong for departures within the next three months to long-haul destinations.”

Fellino says that the most popular destinations booked over the last few days for departures within the next three months are: Thailand (100 per cent increase on the same booking period in 2019), Mexico (50 per cent increase), Mauritius (300 per cent increase ), the Maldives (100 per cent increase ), and Egypt (144 per cent increase).

Summer 2023 is now 51 per cent of Travel Republic’s overall bookings and 41 per cent for winter 2022/23.

“Bookings have also been very strong for Summer 2023 holidays, with the three top selling destinations for summer 2023 holidays being Spain, Turkey and Greece,” says Fellino.

Travel Republic says it is also seeing its average transaction values up by 84 per cent versus pre-pandemic and says that whilst this is linked to the growth it is seeing of mid and long-haul holiday bookings, it is also a reflection of the rising costs of air travel and accommodation.

In terms of holiday duration, Travel Republic is seeing a 60 per cent growth in 14-night breaks on summer 2023 holiday sales, versus 2019, with seven-night breaks remaining flat. However, sales of one- to two-night getaways are down, largely due says Fellino to the current economic situation and Brits opting for longer breaks that provide greater value and benefit.

He says: “Brits are clearly looking to make sure that they get the best value they can by booking two-week holidays, rather than one week, but foregoing their mini breaks.  It’s typical of what we tend to see during times of economic downturn, but their yearly holiday remains sacrosanct.”