WHILE this summer it is not going to be too difficult to find a British tourist, tens of thousands will be heading for Alcudia. The family resort in the north east of Majorca is the number one destination for the British this summer with nearly 150'000 package holidays already sold, 28% more than last year. In fact, at the moment, nearly as many package holidays have been sold in Britain for Alcudia than have been sold for the whole of Minorca this summer. Magalluf and Palma Nova are as usual proving popular, with 62'126 and 53'030 summer package holidays sold respectively so far. Cala D'Or is the fourth most popular destination, followed by Sa Coma and Puerto Pollensa, although the latter is down 20 per cent on last year. Apart from Puerto Pollensa, across the board, nearly all the main resorts in Majorca will see an increase in British tourism this summer, although package holiday sales to Santa Ponsa, the Playa de Palma, Cala Bona, Cala Vinyes and Can Picafort are currently down on last year. More than one in three British tourists in Majorca and the Balearics in general this summer will come from either the North of England or Scotland and on average will have paid £328 per person for a one week holiday, £35 more than last year. In fact, despite the extra £35, the Balearics is the cheapest summer destination in Britain this year. The average price of a one week holiday in Ibiza is as low at £284, compared, for example to £450 in Cyprus, £407 to Bulgaria, which is still enjoying a UK tourism boom, or £347 for a week in Turkey. The average cost of a one week package holiday in the Balearics this winter has been £263, much lower than the region's main winter competitors such as the Canaries, Florida, the Caribbean and Cyprus. Last month, the average price of a seven-day summer package holiday was £398, £12 cheaper than last year. However, January saw all the leading tour operators go head-to-head in the battle to sell as many package holidays as early as possible, offering highly attractive discounts and incentives. The January give away proved successful, as the booking figures show, especially with regards to the Balearics.

UK package holiday prices have since returned to brochure rates, contrary to Germany where a price war is about to break out.
Germany's world leading tour operator TUI, which owns Thomson Holidays, unveiled yesterday that it is going to start offering “cheap” package holidays in a bid to boost bookings. TUI chairman Michael Frenzel said that, similar to the initiative tried by MyTravel, with varying success, German TUI package holiday clients will be able to book holidays at a cheap base rate and then choose which extra services they need, such as airport transfer, in-flight food etc. depending on how much the client wishes to spend. The German holiday market is more price sensitive than ever with the country gripped by recession, high taxes and near record unemployment, hence TUI is offering the new cheap holidays, as well as cheap flights on its new low cost airline Hapag-Lloyd Express. However, TUI has still to decide whether to relaunch its low-cost tour operator, 1-2-Fly, or set up a new one. In an interview with German travel industry magazine, Touristik Report, Michael Frenzel said that German consumer habits “are changing dramatically.”