MAJORA UK tour operators have launched a post-Christmas advertising blitz and slashed prices in a bid to win back customers fearful of sterling's plunge against the euro.

Following the pound's slide against the single currency, many Britons were looking towards the U.S. for their holiday plans. But the pound's fall has been so severe that America is also looking less attractive to cash-strapped families.

Bargain hunters are now again looking to traditional Mediterranean destinations like the Balearics to capitalise on cut-price offers advertised by the big tour firms, who are are trying to tempt customers to book their 2009 summer breaks early.

Customers can save hundreds of pounds sterling off the brochure price of a typical two-week summer break as the operators attempt to entice customers to part with their cash.

Thomson and First Choice, both part of the TUI group, are bombarding UK festive television viewers with prime time advertisements. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook is trying to kickstart bookings by offering a discount of 10 percent off all holidays booked before February 16.

There will also be free children's places and two weeks for the price of one at selected hotels and apartments.


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