After every summer, with autumn approaching, it is time for the annual analyzes of travel behavior of holidaymakers. Last summer that behavior was turned upside down. The Zoover Holiday Monitor recorded a 58% jump in last-minute sun holiday bookings compared to last year. Dutch holidaymakers seemed to strongly prefer Turkey and Spain when it came to flight destinations. Moreover, the travelers put deeper pockets on the table; the average travel price for a sun holiday rose from €1,969 in 2022 to €2,282 this year, an increase of almost 16%.
The figures are the result of an extensive data analysis by Zoover, a review and booking site that attracts 30 million annual visitors and has more than 3,9 million reviews and 1 million accommodations in its database. This data arsenal, together with 12.000 package holidays from various providers, enables Zoover to provide detailed insights into the search and booking behavior of Dutch people.
While Dutch people normally book their summer holidays at the beginning of the year, the tide seems to have changed. According to Sterre Hoek of Zoover, this shift is mainly due to the uncertainties surrounding travel during the corona pandemic, as well as the chaotic scenes at Schiphol last year. “People have become more cautious and no longer book in the periods we used to see,” says Hoek.
Although France and the Netherlands are traditionally the most popular holiday destinations, Turkey was the most frequently booked as a sun destination this year, accounting for 45% of all bookings. Spain (30%) and Greece (13%) followed, along with Egypt (8%) and Portugal (3%). It is striking that Egypt was rated best in Zoover reviews, with an average score of 9,55, while Turkey displaced Portugal from second place with an 8,86.
There is a reason why Dutch people spend more on their Turkish holidays, according to Hoek. “These are almost all all-inclusive holidays. People pay a little more for this, but then have almost no additional costs at their destination," she explained.
In addition, it turned out that Düsseldorf airport was more popular than Schiphol this summer. Nearly 40% of holidaymakers flew from the German airport, compared to 28% who opted for Schiphol. This contrasts with last year when 35% went via Schiphol and 30% via Düsseldorf. Hoek attributes this shift to Turkey's popularity and cheaper flight options from Düsseldorf, especially for those living near the border.
The finding that Düsseldorf is becoming increasingly popular as a departure point cannot only be attributed to cheaper airline tickets. It also signals a new willingness among Dutch travelers to travel further before departure, possibly to avoid more of the uncertainties and stress associated with flying from Schiphol, especially after the chaotic scenes that took place there last year.