Palma.—If package holidays, especially those to Spain and the Balearics were selling much better than last year in the run up to Christmas, well it appears that the market has spiked over Christmas.

According to industry sources with even more flooding forecast after much of the United Kingdom had their Christmas washed out, thousands of Britons can not take any more and have spent the past few days rushing to their nearest travel agent to secure some sun this summer.

Apparently, the Christmas holiday washout has prompted a record number of fed-up Britons to book holidays in the sun, it emerged yesterday.
Tour operators have witnessed a huge surge in online sales of package holidays.
Abandoning Britain
Holiday companies have celebrated the onslaught of wet weather as millions of Britons abandon thoughts of holidaying at home after having endured another wet summer this year for the Olympics and the Jubilee.

Yesterday, Thomson revealed it had enjoyed its most successful Christmas ever, with bookings on its website up 90 per cent compared to the same day last year.

Millions spent Christmas Day afternoon searching for last-minute winter sun or summer deals with demand peaking between 5-6pm.
The most popular destinations are Tenerife, Majorca and Sharm el- Sheikh.
And, according to Thomas Cook, one in five Brits will start looking at booking their annual holiday on Boxing Day, research has revealed.
As the traditional peak holiday booking season begins, Boxing Day saw around 20 percent of Britons starting their annual search for a summer holiday.
Thomas Cook said figures had also indicated that more people will be putting a foreign holiday at the top of their spending priorities in 2013 than they did last year, with some 47 percent of the public insisting it is the most important thing next year, compared with just a third in 2012.

Open earlier
This latest market research mirrors what the Bulletin has been reporting for the past few months and must surely give the Balearic tourist industry, especially the hoteliers, some encouragement.

During the World Travel Market in London last December, when the local hoteliers were informed on the unusual surge in sales of package holidays to the Balearics, Majorca in particular, some of the larger chains did admit that they would consider opening earlier than planned if the increase in demand continued.

January is traditionally the month which gives the industry the best indication as to how the summer season will pan out but, as things stand at the moment, some hoteliers may have to think twice about remaining closed to as late as May next year unless they want to miss out of early business at the start of what is shaping up to be a good season.

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