When do people in Scandinavia rush to book their holidays?
Swedes are top of a list compiled by online agency Travellink among nationalities booking travel on the most depressing day of the year.
Blue Monday, a term first used by the travel industry in 2005, is typically the third Monday of January, when the days are long and dark, and returning to another year of routine drives tired consumers to book a holiday they can look forward to.
Although the idea of one particular Monday being more ‘blue’, meaning melancholy, than any other day is mocked by scientists as being nonsensical, many travel companies use to the occasion as a marketing opportunity.
The list developed by Travellink parent company eDreams ODIGEO claims to have surveyed over 18 million travellers based on return flights booked on last year’s Blue Monday, January 16, 2017, compared to the average for each Monday in January 2017.
It says that Swedes booked 51% more travel on Blue Monday last year compared to other Mondays in January, followed by Finns (43%), Norwegians (42%) and Danes (41%).
Some way behind are the consumers in other European countries, namely Austria (29%), Great Britain (17%), Portugal (15%), Germany (13%), Spain (13%), Italy, (11%), France (7%) and Switzerland (5%).
Proportionally, this means Swedes book more than twice as many trips on the day than the European average of 22%.
However, Tui puts a sparkle on the peak travel booking day in January, calling it Sunshine Saturday, saying that this year the Europe-wide phenomenon will be January 13.
According to the tour operator’s internal calculations, more than 30,000 Germans, for example, will book their holidays through Tui on this single day.
On January 13, it expects 1.2 million holiday-seekers to either look for information online or ask for advice from a Tui travel agency.
According to a recent survey by the tourism group, the month of January is now the highest-selling month in Europe, especially Saturdays. On January 6, around 30,000 Tui customers in the UK signed up for this year’s holiday.
But the operator singles out the Scandinavian countries for booking en masse not on Saturday but on Sunday. Only in Belgium is it Monday. The Dutch and Austrians make the most bookings on the last Saturday of the month, Tui claims.