First Choice summer holiday sales plunge

Tour operator First Choice is the only one of the top three holiday firms to see sales fall in April, according to figures obtained exclusively by Marketing Week.

The figures on First Choice, Thomson and Airtours’ performance have been compiled by Stats MR, the holiday industry market research analyst. Stats MR refuses to confirm or comment on the data.

First Choice’s sales of holidays for this summer are down 17 per cent in April, compared with a rise of 13 per cent in the same month for both Thomson and Airtours.

The company’s performance is 28 points down on the total market, where holiday sales for the summer were up 11 per cent in April.

The cumulative total for summer 1996 holiday sales to the end of April saw both First Choice and Thomson sales down 17 per cent, while Airtours was down 24 per cent.

The total market is down 12 per cent. This is in line with the tour operators’ target of taking 11 per cent capacity out of the mar-ket this year to prevent the dis-counting which rocked the industry last year.

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