Palma.—Needless to say, the most popular ones of the most tried and tested such as Spain and, in particular the Balearics, which was the UK's top single destination last year and all the early trading indications suggest that the Balearics will remain in pole position this summer.

The pre-Christmas price war did not break out in the end and market research companies have reported that holiday prices are very similar to last year and holidays have been selling well without aggressive market strategies from the main tour operators.

There were fears that issues such as APD (the increase in the controversial air passenger duty), rising holiday prices and economic uncertainty could hamper sales, but agents said the positive number of enquiries had increased their optimism for 2012 and that should be embraced by destinations such as the Balearics which has limited funding to promote itself overseas this year.

Enquiry numbers have also been very high over the festive period and the past week of poor weather has helped to fuel interest in a sunshine holiday even more.

So, the next few weeks, as has become traditional, are going to prove crucial as agents and operators eagerly wait to see if the enquiries translate into sales.

But, some operators, are already claiming that confirmed bookings between December 29 and December 31, were 12 percent up on last year.
A recent YouGov poll of 2'066 people showed that “millions” intend to book a package holiday and mainland Spain curently tops the list of most popular destinations for those yet to book at 29%. The Balearics is most popular single location (24%) after coming in at number two last year, closely followed by France, the Canaries and Greece (all at 23%).

Egypt and Tunisia have seen a slight increase as the destinations being reconsidered despite the impact of the Arab spring and Italy is expected to see a rise in popularity.

Turkey's fall from grace last year after hiking prices by 20 percent after a boom year in 2010 could still cost it dearly and the ongoing unrest in Greece, could have a negative affect on bookings.


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