Emirates Holidays anticipates ‘bumper’ summer
Emirates Holidays is anticipating a “bumper summer” as package holiday demand proves more robust in 2010.
Hans Haensel, Senior Vice President of the Emirates Group’s Destination & Leisure Management Division, conceded that Emirates Holidays’ full-year financial results had been “disappointing” given that the tour operating arm of Emirates Airline desired “increases each year”, but told TDME that booking trends over the past couple of months had been “extremely positive”.
“We will have a real bumper summer,” he said, “and although April and May are not big travel months, we are seeing strong demand for locations such as the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, and also for Asia and the UK.”
He said Emirates Holidays’ 2009-2010 results had fallen under budget because recession-fearing consumers had booked shorter and cheaper holidays, but he looked ahead to brighter days where new destinations served by Emirates Airline, including Madrid, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Prague would provide some icing on the cake bookings wise.
Haensel revealed that Emirates Holidays packages prices for 2010 were 12% up on last year across the board but remained “extremely competitive”.
These price hikes come as Emirates Airline also increases its fares for the summer - a move that some travel agents are unimpressed by (see ‘Agents divided over EK price hike impact’).
“I don’t know why everyone is suddenly making such a big deal of this because it happens every year ahead of peak travel season,” said Haensel.
He also reminded agents that customers travelling south of Dubai to destinations that were traditionally off-peak during the summer would find that prices were very reasonable.
Haensel also commented that he was not concerned about bookings dropping during Ramadan, stressing that 50% of summer sales were attributed to Arab Nationals who might still opt to travel to Muslim destinations such as Malaysia during the Holy Month.
Emirates Group results released last week stated that it was a “difficult year for the Destination and Leisure Management division”, which reported package sales of AED 1 billion (US$ 272 million) for the year ending 31 March, 2010.
Emirates Holidays managed 165,000 total room nights booked during the year, a decrease on last year’s numbers, said the annual report.