Spain and Greece losing to Turkey

The November package holiday and last-minute bookings figures for the ten largest destination airports from leading reservations provider Traveltainment, covering both winter sun breaks over the next few months and summer 2019 holidays, showed that recent sales trends are continuing into the start of the traditional peak booking period.

All the big Spanish destinations suffered heavy double-digit declines in bookings last month. Bookings to Palma slumped by 29% in November after a 33% fall in October and generally weak sales in recent months. This left Majorca’s gateway airport in third place in the top ten ranking.

Once again, the high-priced Canary Islands had double-digit declines in holiday bookings last month. The top four destinations, Fuerteventura (-22%), Las Palmas (-24%), Tenerife (South) (-25%) and Arrecife (-17%), have all seen lower bookings over many months this year.

The biggest loser in November, however, was Heraklion, Crete’s main airport, with a 30% slump following double-digit declines in October (-17%) and September (-13%). Rhodes, which has seen ups and downs over the last few months, dropped by 17% in November.

In contrast, Antalya continued its winning streak so far this year with a high 54% surge in bookings last month. This followed a 39% increase in October and high double-digit growth in most months this year as the Turkish Riviera re-establishes itself in the German market. It remained the largest single destination airport in terms of volumes, with 28% of bookings for the top ten airports.

Meanwhile, demand remains strong for holidays in Egypt although growth rates are now normalising. After more than a year of very strong growth rates, bookings were again lower for Hurghada (-13%) than in the same month last year, but the main Red Sea airport remained in second place in the top ten ranking, with a 19% share. Demand was again strong for the other major Red Sea airport, Marsa Alam (+36%), which overtook Rhodes and Arrecife in volume terms.

The monthly figures for November cover package holiday and last-minute bookings through Traveltainment’s market-leading travel agency and OTA reservation systems.