British tourists are reluctant to book ahead for next year's holidays and are waiting for late bargains. With the Balearic tourist industry concerned over the current slump in bookings, it can take heart from the British market where travel agents have confirmed that bargain holidays are plentiful as tourists hold back on making long-term plans. Few holidays for 2002 are being booked while travellers opt instead for last-minute decisions. People are making their holiday decisions at the last minute said Nigel Wright, managing director for Cosmos holidays. The industry is having to make contingency plans to revive the travel market, the Association of British Travel Agents meeting was told. “Nobody is booking for holidays beyond Christmas. People are making their holiday decisions at the last minute,” said Wright. Bookings for trips over the next few weeks are beginning to improve, but few holidays for 2002 have been taken up. Anyone booking holidays now would get a good deal, said Andrew Windsor, managing director of distribution businesses for the Thomas Cook travel company. “We plan to stimulate the market and try to build consumer confidence,” he said. Bookings to Egypt are down, But ABTA chief executive Ian Reynolds said price levels at present were “unsustainable for the industry in the short-term” and could not continue for long. Bookings to the eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and the US were down and could be expected to stay depressed, said Mr Windsor.


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