BOOKED your summer holiday for next year? Got your foreign exchange? Bought all your beach stuff? What do you mean, no? Don't you know that everyone books their summer holiday nine months in advance. What do you mean that you are waiting till after Christmas because that is your next big expense. That's ridiculous. Summer holidays are bought in November. The trouble is that it is people like you who are messing up the figures and that is why holiday bookings to the Balearics for next summer are in such a poor state at the moment and it is why alarm bells have been ringing at the World Travel Market tourism trade fair in London. I can't understand why people don't book their holidays in November. The holiday brochures are out for 2004 and what is the point in waiting until the Spring when tour operators start cost-cutting and slashing the price of holidays. No it is better to pay the full brochure price with no discounts because that way you are assured of your holiday. It is just stupid to think that the alleged holiday slump is just a ploy to get local hoteliers to drop their prices. Obviously we are heading for a really bad summer season in 2004 as regards British tourism because no-one has booked yet. It's because of the pound of course. The pound is worth nothing anymore against the euro despite what you read in the financial press. I've related the above rather tongue in check because of the complete nonsense which has been coming out of the World Travel Market as regards the slump in sales. Ten years ago a considerable number of people booked their holidays in November. No longer, because of all the late special offers. And the pound? Well, if the Bank of England continues to put up interest rates its value will increase against the euro like it has done over the last few weeks. So let's not get carried away. A record number of British tourists will come to Majorca next year, because we Brits love the place. And hoteliers, don't drop your prices. We've heard it all before.

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