On the Beach off the back of their move to offer ATOL protection to its customers have now decided to allow customers to pay for their holiday 30 days before departure rather than the traditional 90 days still offered by its competitors.
Cynic’s in the industry claim that this because the customers funds are protected in a trust fund and can not be used to fund marketing. Hence, if it can not be spent, why collect it?
Or is it a genuine desire to ease the customers ability to pay for their holidays by giving them more time to pay?
Which ever it is, I fear it will be a difficult message to communicate in a market that is focused on price and the deposit paid, rather than the balance date. Given On the Beach still have to take a deposit equal to the flight costs on most bookings, it still makes them more expensive than the traditional operators who can offer £50 deposits in key booking windows such as January.
So why I applaud innovation and breaking the traditional marketing rules, I won’t be rushing to copy this innovation just yet.