Travel with Katie Butler: Tenerife retained top spot last week​

​After what can only be described as an extraordinary 18 months of consistent bookings, last week, I could certainly tell that preparing for Christmas is becoming the priority for many.
Playa del Duque sitting on the southwest coast of Tenerife. Photo: AdobeStockPlaya del Duque sitting on the southwest coast of Tenerife. Photo: AdobeStock
Playa del Duque sitting on the southwest coast of Tenerife. Photo: AdobeStock

Katie Butler, Total Travel, writes: The phones are a lot quieter and enquiries have slowed down a little, although we are finding that the ‘quieter’ months are still significantly busier to what we would have expected pre-Covid.

Ordinarily, November and December does tend to quieten down for the travel industry and is a much welcome calm before the storm, giving us the opportunity to plan for ‘peaks’ in January which is our busy time.

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It is also a time when suppliers and tour operators roll out training events and conferences and I am delighted that staff from both our Heckmondwike and Ossett stores will be attending as many as we can and gaining knowledge to pass on to our much-valued customers.

Every day is almost certainly a school day in our industry. Our first event of many is next week and is tour operator specific where the team will be extending their knowledge on Beachcomber Tours, a specialist independent company with dedicated expertise in the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius, Maldives and the Seychelles to name a few.

I can hardly believe it has been a year since the final flight touched down at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, time really does fly (absolutely no pun intended). It was November 4, 2022 that the TUI flight from Egypt touched down to emotional scenes at the runway and terminal.

One year on there are still hopes that the airport may re-open as a commercial airport and as it stands negotiations are ongoing to find an investor to lease the site from Peel.

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I wrote in an earlier edition that the 100ml hand baggage liquid rule will be scrapped in 2024 and the government have given a deadline for all UK main airports to remove the rule by June.

Two UK airports (London City and Teeside) are already free of the 100ml rule and other airports are set to follow suit.

Our travel advisor Karen has recently travelled from Leeds Bradford and informed us that the liquid rule was not in place. Whilst nothing has been announced officially, it does seem that our regional airport may be preparing to scrap the rule.

When the new technology is in place officially (New generation CT X-Ray scanners), travellers will no longer need to remove liquids, laptops or any other large electronic devices from their bags resulting in shorter queues at airport security.

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In the meantime, stick to the rule as normal and we hopefully look forward to announcing new rules when they are official.

It's all about late booking’s for yet another week. Whilst we have noticed the shops quieten down we are still taking many new bookings and once again late bookings (to travel within the next 12 weeks) remain strong with December departures accounting for 25 per cent of our total sales.

No surprise that Tenerife retained top spot last week. No shift in destination for the summer 2024 season either, Turkey was number one with Majorca a close second.

Top selling departure month for next summer was May.