By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
MAJORCA and Ibiza are where some of the best holiday bargains are going to be found by early New Year-bookers as a fresh price war is poised to erupt on Britain's high streets.

A recent study carried out by independent travel agents Co-op Travel and Travelcare has revealed that British holidaymakers will be able to cash in on a fierce price war with prices being slashed by as much as 15 percent to some summer destinations.

Careful bargain hunters could find themselves saving as much as 250 pounds on last year's prices.
In Ibiza, the average price of a package holiday has been slashed by 14 percent which equates to a saving of 250 pounds for a family of four booking a half-board package.

What is more, consumers will also be able to enjoy a host of new marketing incentives travel agents and tour operators are offering in the battle to attract clients.

Some travel firms have even gone as far as challenging punters to find the same holiday cheaper with another company, if they do, they can win a free holiday.

Industry experts have said that rumours of a price war and the marketing gimmicks are very much for real this winter and in the New Year, early bookers will be able to enjoy genuinely big savings and other benefits.

Tour operators are becoming increasingly dependent on people booking early as the good old package holiday slowly loses popularity.
What is more, the earlier tour operators have their occupancy figures, the earlier they can plan the number of hotel rooms and plane seats they will need for the summer season.

But, while the market leaders have launched into a package holiday price war, they have also taken measures to offset the decline in demand for package holidays to traditional destinations.

The low cost airline revolution has fuelled the boom in independent travellers. Tour firms have tried to compete by increasing their independent and active holiday services, offering internet booking services and even stripped down package holidays into modules so clients can “build” their holiday depending on how much they want to spend or what in-resort services they really need.

The industry has found over recent years that holidaymakers travelling to tried-and-tested destinations, such as the Balearics and Spain, no longer need all the in-resort services and nannying once offered. Some companies have started to offer package holidays, at extremely competitive prices, to long-haul destinations such as Brazil, Mexico and even Australia.

Tour operators are also apparently worried about the negative affect rising debt and further increases in interest rates could have on holiday bookings .

Many Britons are still opting for non-Euro zone destinations in search of new experiences and value for money.
The Black Sea destination Varna in Bulgaria is one of the emerging and fashionable destinations. So is Monastir in Tunisia with prices down by 7 and 11 percent respectively on last year.

There is one catch in snapping up a good bargain as the price customers could finally pay also depends on the time of year they wish to travel and from which airport they wish to fly.

According to the report, seven nights self-catering at a three star resort in Majorca in the middle of April and departing from Glasgow airport will cost 122 pounds.

Come July, the base price for the same holiday is 279 pounds.
Still a bargain all the same.

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