By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
WE all hate Mondays, including Sir Bob Geldof who has spent his summer holidays in Majorca for well over a decade, and UK travel industry experts are predicting that January 24, dubbed the most depressing day of 2011 is going to witness a surge in searches for sunshine holiday flights to top destinations including Majorca.

We are all familiar with the Monday morning blues but Monday 24 January 2011 is tipped to be the most depressing day of 2011, Blue Monday, according to WhichBudget.com thanks to the distant memory of Christmas and the dreary weather combined in Britain with broken New Year's Resolutions and enormous credit card bills.

Whilst many people will spend Blue Monday under the duvet after calling in “sick”, WhichBudget.com, a leading flight search engine and destination finder, expects many people to spend the day looking for an escape resulting in a significant increase in the number of searches for flights on 24 January.

Recent consumer research by WhichBudget.com has found that the most popular time for travellers looking for cheap flights is on Mondays between 11am and 12pm, with almost 10% of all searches taking place during this time.

SEARCHING WHILE AT WORK
Martino Matijevic, CEO and Founder at WhichBudget.com comments: “WhichBudget data shows that people search for flights during the day while they are at work and the hour just before lunch is the busiest time. “The majority of people tend to be more productive in the mornings clearing their inboxes and preparing for the day ahead, and when these tasks are finished there is a natural lull in productivity. “Our figures show that people are using this break to use the internet and search for flights. Mondays are particularly busy because most people experience that ‘back-to-school' feeling and searching and booking a flight to visit friends and family, experience a new city or simply to flop on the beach, creates something to look forward to. “We expect to see an increase in overall searches, particularly to warmer destinations such as Spain and Portugal, towards the end of the month with a peak on 24 January,” he added.

The top ten destinations on Blue Monday last year, which fell on January 18, included Majorca and the island, which is already enjoying a considerable improvement in sunnier holiday sales, is expected to feature very high up on the list again.

Agents have already reported a positive start to 2011. Agents were apparently upbeat about the start of the January selling period, despite recognising it was going to be a tough year.

A Tui spokesman said sales on Monday and Tuesday were strong, particularly for the summer and other industry chiefs have said that despite fears about job losses, there were signs of returning consumer confidence.

SALES UP ON LAST YEAR “People will have less disposable income, but apart from the public sector people seem to be a lot more confident,” one source said.
So far, summer holiday sales this month are between two and eight percent up on this time last year and January is the key selling month for the UK travel industry. By the end of this month, the Balearics will have some clear indications as to how this summer season is going to pan out.

But, with Easter coming late at the end of April, it may mean that hotels will remain closed for longer than usual but once they do open, will remain open for the duration of the Easter and Summer holiday period thus creating one of the longest seasons in recent years.

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