Barrhead Travel says it is bullish about 2023 as it announces 66% of new bookings since January have come from customers who did not previously book with the company.
The company, which launched its Book Human marketing campaign this year, has enjoyed sales at 2019 levels or above consistently since April.
Speaking at the travel agency’s first conference since the Covid pandemic, president Jacqueline Dobson said: “In spite of all the obstacles we have enjoyed a great year for 2022. Already the 2023 order book is ahead of where we were in 2019.
“The next 12 months won’t come without its challenges. The cost of living and turmoil left beyond this summer mean we will continue to tread with caution. However, that caution comes with a huge dose of optimism.”
Dobson said the company was continuing to attract new customers driven by a desire to speak to a real person and seek the advice of a professional when booking a holiday.
“The agent is a necessity for travel plans, not a commodity,” she said. “It’s about security and peace of mind, people want that hand-holding.”
The company also reported an increasing proportion of customer enquiries were being converted into bookings, up from 39% of enquiries in 2019 to 53% this year.
Sales and marketing director Nicki Tempest-Mitchell called the rise “significant”, adding: “There is a rise in people using a travel professional. We are well-placed to capitalise on that trend.”