Pharos Data, the specialist in online reservations for the ferry sector, has released statistics on transaction volumes for its Xchange Reservations Service, which indicate an upward trend for ferry bookings via trade channels. The Xchange Service, which handles millions of transactions for ferry operators and their trade partners every year, is an ideal barometer of trade booking trends.
Xchange reservation statistics are monitored as travellers spend, in contrast to trends from industry publications, which show volumes at time of departure. This means we have an immediate indicator of how ferry passengers are spending, which is particularly relevant in todays economic climate.
Following a short survey and monitoring of statistics during the last four months of 2008, volumes for a significant number of Pharos’s Xchange ferry reservation users show the year on year trend as very positive.
The results show an overall average increase of 32% in bookings compared to the same period in 2007. Furthermore, the increase in December alone was 30%, which is normally one of the weakest months of the passenger ferry calendar.
Announcing these results, Alan Warburton commented:
“The average booking value remained unchanged, confirming a very strong sector performance for our Xchange agents. The trend demonstrates the benefit of being online in the sector with an efficient booking service offering travellers choice and value.”
A large part of the increase was on short sea routes, indicating signs of a dramatic switch in spending by many during the quiet season outside of the holiday period, and in adverse economic conditions.
“Our success underlines the Pharos results and reflects our own experience in our consumer, affiliate, club and other brands for reservations and breaks programs. This is an encouraging reversal of the general picture, showing the great value opportunities we can offer the traveller.”
Director of ‘The Travel Market’