The summer of love for Prestige Holidays

30 September 2009

British travellers continue to look abroad for a relaxing holiday despite the recession. Premier Holidays, the leading independent tour operator, has seen an increase in both passengers and revenue over the summer.

Late deals and long-lead bookings are buoyant, both helping the operator enjoy one of its best summers of recent years.

“Given the recession, this year started slowly as people delayed booking their holidays until they had more understanding of their financial situation,” says Susan Papworth, Managing Director at Premier Holidays.

“Since the start of summer we’ve experienced a real pick-up in business and across our full portfolio, there’s a 30 per cent increase on revenue and 18 per cent on passenger numbers.

“Despite the recession, British holidaymakers continue to prioritise a holiday as their top leisure activity. Whether it is a last minute break to the Channel Islands, a tailormade long-haul holiday or an around the world, multi-centre trip, travellers are benefiting from competitive offers on accommodation and airfares.”

For the period from May to date 2009 compared with the same months in 2008, Premier Holidays has seen a 45 per cent revenue increase in USA sales and its popular Faraway product (incorporating Caribbean, Asia and Indian Ocean).

Premier Holidays’ short haul product also had strong sales throughout the summer with revenue up 17 per cent for the Channel Islands and 10 per cent increase for the Isle of Man. The islands increased their passenger numbers by 14 and 3 per cent respectively.

“Our sales team continue to support agents around the country with personalised correspondence and regular visits,” says Papworth.

“Tailoring sales information to suit agents makes it easier for them to find a good deal. Calling in and talking through products with agents – finding out what works for them, what queries they’re receiving from customers – helps drive sales.

“Backing up visits with personalised newsletters has also helped boost sales. Agents are such an important part of our business and we constantly review how we communicate with them to ensure it suits not only the way we work, but the way they work.

“In addition to personalised newsletters and sales calls, we also have specialist reservations teams based in our UK call centre, who can assist agents with planning itineraries, any destination specific questions and general product updates. Many of our staff have been with us for over ten years and intimately know the products and destinations.

“The products we’ve added this year are performing well, especially Australia and New Zealand. We’re seeing a return of agents looking to book with a fully protected operator who can offer all elements of a holiday – from flights and accommodation through to luxury touches such as private transfers and tours - at a competitive price.”

Premier Holidays’ top 10 growth destinations

1. Seychelles – 162 per cent
2. Tobago – 92 per cent
3. Barbados – 69 per cent
4. Las Vegas and Nevada – 51 per cent
5. Boston and Massachussetts – 47 per cent
6. South Africa – 42 per cent
7. New York – 31 per cent
8. Florida – 17 per cent
9. Egypt – 17 per cent
10. Bali – 16 per cent

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