More people are looking to go on holiday this year than in 2014, according to an early update of European travel bookings from Gfk. 

The market researcher unearthed a 3% rise in general bookings between January 1-12, compared to the same period last year. January 2014 was another strong month for travel sales, where year-on-year sales also rose by 3%

Gfk states that trips to European destinations including France, Tunisia and Croatia are in demand, with the latter seeing a £116 increase in the average price of trips sold between January 5-10; again, compared to the same period in 2014.

Although suppliers will be pleased to hear that preparation was going well ahead of what could be a bumper year for business, Gfk noted that increases seen last week had offset reductions from earlier in the month.

Improving picture

Summer travel bookings between January 5-10 showed a slide in volume year on year, the rate dropping by 4% compared to results in 2014. 

The average value of trips also declined during this period, showing a 5% decrease on levels seen last year.

There was some respite to be had, though, as summer bookings went up to just a 1% drop year on year during the second week of January. 

Specific travel categories also welcomed growth in the early stages of the year, as family bookings rose 10% year on year last week. Short-haul trips welcomed a similar uplift, rising 7% in the week ending January 17, while bookings for medium-haul destinations rose 4% in the same period.