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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Early booking trend carries over to Eid

The early booking trend witnessed by Etihad Holidays this summer has been carried over to Eid.

Forward bookings for holidays during the period, which marks the end of Ramadan, have “increased significantly” year-on-year, said Nick Wood, general manager, Etihad Holidays.

Customers are planning ahead to avoid disappointment and as a result, Etihad has been “inundated with bookings”, he claimed.

“Etihad guests have been particularly keen to book Eid breaks early this year because there is such a short period of time between the end of the traditional summer and the beginning of Ramadan,” he added

Back in June, Wood reported a surge in early summer bookings, as even Arab nationals, who traditionally booked holidays as late as one day in advance of departure, were booking two or three weeks in advance.

“Travellers are realising they need to book well in advance to secure their first choice of holiday.

This is especially the case with families or groups who are tied to travelling on certain dates and wish to go a specific destination,” he said.

Etihad Holidays has 50% more Eid break options than last year, offering 82 destinations out of Abu Dhabi, and is expecting particularly strong demand for the company’s newest destination, New York, daily flights to which commence on October 26.

Prices for a seven-day fly-drive to New York lead in at AED 3895 (US $1061) and a five-night break at the centrally located Helmsley Hotel is priced from AED 5330 ($1451) per person.

The tour operator has also introduced the Zenith Hotel, Bangkok to its Thailand itinerary – a property popular with Arab travellers due to its close proximity to ‘Little Arabia’ and the services it provides including Halal cuisine and Arabic-speaking staff.

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