The Easter Bunny isn’t the only one busy at Easter. The Easter bank holiday weekend along with the Easter school holiday break are a busy time for travel with Heathrow expecting 25% more passengers than during a normal two week period. I have recently completed a piece of work looking at how the Easter break impacts the forecast for March and April travel. To do this it was important to understand the travel and booking behaviours for leisure customers as well as business customers during this period. I had chocolate Easter eggs with my colleagues to celebrate this piece of work!
It’s holiday time for our leisure customers
During the Easter break there is an increase in leisure travel as customers make the most of the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays and those with children take advantage of the school holidays. In general, leisure travel tends to book earlier in advance as people look for the early booking discount and promotions that are available much further in advance of the departure date. So, the fact that Easter drives more leisure travel will impact when the holiday bookings are made and therefore how we forecast.
What happens to our business customers?
As a consequence of the Easter Bank Holidays there is also a decrease in business travel during this period. How does this impact the booking profile? In general, business travel tends to book much closer to departure as meetings tend to be scheduled closer to departure date.
Therefore depending upon where the Easter bank holiday and school holidays sit can very much shape the booking profile for that month. It impacts the time when customers book to travel, the travel dates that customers choose to travel and their purpose for travel and becomes key in understanding how to forecast the months containing Easter.