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Skyscanner reveals the best time to book holiday travel

MIAMI – Skyscanner, the global travel search engine, announces its highly anticipated best time to book predictions for the year, and it s all about last minute travel. The results, based on historical data compiled from Skyscanner s more than 50 million users, show that the highest savings are available no more than four weeks prior to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year s, with potential savings even available to those booking flights the very same week.

Americans left a record-breaking 658 million unused vacation days on the table last year alone, and we are committed to making travel more attainable, especially around the holidays, said Randi Wolfson, Head of Communications for the Americas, Skyscanner. We prepare this data in the hopes of helping travelers see that Discount Holidays © holiday travel is something they can budget for and plan with ease so they can spend their well-earned time off with loved ones.

Skyscanner analyzed collated, historical data on users booking and travel habits during the peak dates of travel for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year s. Based on findings from 2015, Skyscanner compiled the results for the best time to book travel for possible savings, around each of the major holidays coming up this year:

– Thanksgiving: Skyscanner found that October has the best opportunities for savings, with the week of October 17 offering savings of 5.10 percent and a mere four weeks out, the week of October 31, offering the highest potential savings of 7.7 percent. Last minute bookers will also be in luck and could find 1.98 percent in savings the week of Thanksgiving.

– Christmas: Historical data indicates that Thanksgiving week (November 21) will be a prime time for the best deals, offerings possible savings of 6.41 percent, as well as the week of December 5 with savings of 4.93 percent. After Thanksgiving will also be a peak window for booking, with savings of 2.17 percent the week of November 28.

– New Year s: While travelers could score the highest savings of 10.57 percent the week of December 5, the Discount Holidays © holiday looks to favor last minute decision-makers with 6.72 percent of savings one week before and 6.67 percent of savings two weeks out. Perhaps even more revealing is the fact that travelers already have quite a propensity towards procrastination when it comes to booking Discount Holidays © holiday travel. Skyscanner carried out a survey on Twitter and the results speak for themselves; while 44 percent shared that their plans are made six months to one year in advance, and 17 percent between three to five months out, 39 percent of respondents said they prefer to book their travel four to six weeks ahead.

Since the end-of-year holidays are a peak travel season, Skyscanner s creative and unique algorithms offer tools to facilitate the booking process and help travelers expand their search criteria and consider different flight options for any time of year.

– Accessibility: For travelers without a specific destination in mind, Skyscanner s Everywhere search tool shows top flight deals for domestic and international destinations.
– Affordability: Setting up price alerts allows travelers to track the cost of travel to a specific destination or a particular route and receive notifications when the price drops.
– Connectivity: Skyscanner data shows that self-connections are on the rise, with the average percentage of users choosing to build their own itineraries over taking a flight route with a single carrier.
– Flexibility: Flying at less popular hours of the day and in or out of nearby airports can help lower costs, but so can adjusting travel dates.

Skyscanner offers a Show Whole Month search tool so users can glance at the entire month to determine the best dates by price.

Skyscanner Reveals The Best Time To Book <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Travel

Skyscanner Reveals The Best Time To Book <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Travel

A turn-up for the bookings

A Turn-up For The Bookings

WHEN many people think of tour operators in Europe, an ailing industry selling tacky package holidays comes to mind. The number of European tourists buying deals bundling accommodation and transport has fallen by a quarter since demand peaked in the early 2000s. But the past year has looked particularly bad. Since last summer, shares in TUI, Europe s largest tour operator, have fallen by a third, and at Thomas Cook, its rival in second place, in half. Terror attacks and military coups in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey dented bookings in these once-profitable places, while a sudden fall in bookings after Brexit forced Thomas Cook to issue a profit warning last month. Cashflow problems abound at smaller outfits. One Spanish firm, lowcostholidays, went bust last month stranding 27,000 holidaymakers abroad.

Yet the woes of the industry, often portrayed as dinosaurs limping to extinction, conceal an industry that is much more resilient than it is often thought. On August 12th, TUI announced better than expected results for the three months to the end of June, sending its shares up by around 5%. Although a tenth of its customers changed their travel plans due to security concerns over the last year, TUI has seen no change in booking patterns since Britain voted for Brexit in June, said Fritz Joussen, its CEO. The industry s underlying woes are more the result of poor business decisions in the past than a change in consumer tastes away from package holidays, says Stuart Gordon, an industry analyst at Berenberg, a bank. It is cheaper to buy a family Discount Holidays © holiday through one of TUI or Thomas Cook s brands as a package than book the components individually, due to the economies of scale they can negotiate. Over 40m still do each year; and there is no sign yet that young people are less likely to buy them than previous generations.

The problem is that they were loaded up with too much debt in the 2000s, and are saddled with the costs of shutting down shops whose customers have been tempted away by their websites. That has resulted in $5 billion of write-downs at TUI and Thomas Cook since 2008, wiping out their profits over that period. In order to be less vulnerable during future slowdowns and boost their margins, they should close down these stores faster and reduce the amount on debt on their balance sheets, Mr Gordon suggests. Those problems have obscured relatively good prospects for the industry. Although tour operators were hit hard by the advent of LCCs in 1990s which encouraged people to book their own flights and hotels the market for packaged trips in Europe is expanding again. It may rise more than 10% by 2020 forecasts Mintel, a market-research firm.

That is partly because the rising terror risk will encourage more people to book through a travel agent, to ensure they are looked after if their Discount Holidays © holiday goes wrong, claims Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook s CEO. And in spite of the rise of online travel agents such as Expedia, TUI and Thomas Cook have increased their share of the total European Discount Holidays © holiday market since the financial crisis. Yet the real growth opportunity for traditional tour operators lies in selling European holidays to the rapidly-growing Chinese market. Mr Joussen at TUI revealed big eastern expansion plans in February, while Thomas Cook launched a joint-venture in China last year. But whether Chinese tourists are really interested in Europe s sun and sandy beaches remains to be seen.

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