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Travel Counsellors sees spike in bookings as travellers escape the Monday blues

Travel Counsellors has reported a spike in bookings on ‘Blue Monday’, as the company’s customers clamoured to escape the ‘most depressing day of the year’.

The independent travel company has seen a 20 per cent increase in customer enquiries for destinations that offer physical or mental wellbeing activities since the beginning of December, culminating in a bumper sales day on ‘Blue Monday’. Travel Counsellors reported £3.3m in sales, a 17 per cent increase on the same time last year.

Holidaymakers’ recent interest in travel experiences designed to boost mind, body and soul follows the company’s ‘winter wellness’ initiative, which kicked off in December. The campaign highlights worldwide locations, resorts and accommodation that offer a host of physical activities, or a focus on mindfulness, meditation and self-care.

During the December/January booking period, Travel Counsellors’ most popular experiences have included golfing getaways and beach-side resorts with high-adrenaline water sports, horse riding, hiking or cycling. Spa treatments, yoga retreats and cookery classes also proved popular, representing over 50 per cent of the activities booked at destinations across the globe.

Long-haul holidays to the Indian Ocean topped the company’s sales chart on ‘Blue Monday’, with Mauritius and Sri Lanka amongst the top ten destinations booked, as well as Dubai and Barbados offering equally popular beach-side escapes.

This follows the Civil Aviation Authority’s predictions that ‘Blue Monday’ was to be one of the busiest days of the year for holiday enquiries, with 5.2 million people across the UK expected to book a holiday this month. The Global Wellness Institute also estimates that ‘wellness tourism’ grew into a $639bn market last year, underlining the boost in bookings seen by the firm.

Steve Byrne, Chief Executive at Travel Counsellors, said: “We’ve seen a real uplift in bookings to wellness destinations as travellers opt for healthier, more active holidays, or experiences that offer the ultimate feeling of getting away from it all. In fact, the Global Wellness Institute states that 830 million wellness trips were taken in 2017, which is 139 million more than in 2015. With the trend set to continue, the number of wellness trips taken worldwide this year could reach 1 billion.

“We’re also seeing more and more customers value travel experiences that not only offer the opportunity to feel good, but do good too, with more responsible, sustainable travel experiences that support the environment and the people in the communities our customers travel to.

“Caring for our customers’ wellbeing by offering highly personalised travel arrangements and seamless, enjoyable booking experiences is key to Travel Counsellors’ success story. We’re delighted to see that sales so far this month reflect the care and attention-to-detail we show to the hundreds and thousands of customers who travel with us each year.”

Travel Counsellors reported record growth at the close of 2018, with its total transaction value surpassing £600m for the first time since the company’s launch in 1994. The company’s leisure and corporate travel services are delivered by over 1,800 Travel Counsellors in seven countries, supported by a head office team based in Manchester and further offices across the globe.