AirplaNEThe last minute travel market is growing rapidly – with the vast majority of deals now being booked online. Furthermore weather is a key factor in driving demand.

Recent research conducted by Trivago, a popular hotel comparison site, shows that 85% of customers make their last minute bookings online, with a meager 15% using traditional methods – e.g. by phone or through a travel agent.

This increase in online bookings is mainly attributed to the proliferation of smart phones and tablets, as well as the rise of a more internet savvy generation.

What’s more, weather and climate information is critical in generating this demand. Holidaymakers going online to book a cheap getaway have two main concerns – how good the deal is, and how good the forecast is.

In fact, The United Nations World Tourism Organisation states that “the consideration of current weather or near-term forecasts (next 1-4 days) is the most important factor in ‘last minute’ domestic leisure tourism.”

With competition heating up in the last minute deals space, new marketing tactics need to be employed to boost sales. For travel agents, tour operators and booking engines, weather information is being used as a valuable online marketing tool to drive last minute bookings.

A holiday weather index, such as ‘Good Weather Now’ calculates the weather conditions for the week ahead and gives an eye-catching star rating for a holiday destination, providing a quick reference to compare a number of potential destinations and help the decision process.

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