By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE awful weather in Britain may yet help to save the summer season here in the Balearics.
The weather in the United Kingdom is just as unsettled as the tourist industry and holiday bookings this year but the persistent rain and unseasonably cool temperatures has sparked a late holiday booking boom.

With showers forecast for the next five days in most parts of Britain, the online travel agent lastminute.com yesterday reported a “holiday booking frenzy” with British consumers desperate to get away from the gray skies.

According to lastminute.com, there has been an increase in week-on-week trading with holiday searches up by 23 percent over the past week, since the weather took a serious turn for the worse.

Other tour operators have reported near 50 percent surges in last minute holiday bookings for what is left of this month and August and the principal reason for the recent boom is the bad weather.

Apparently, while many Britons have been in two minds about taking summer holiday because of the credit crunch and have opted to wait until the last minute in the hope of snatching a last minute deal, the awful weather has tipped the balance and persuaded them to book a sunshine break.

Needles to say, not all are coming to the Balearics and Spain however.
Tunisia has reported a 95 percent increase in UK sales while Croatia claims British bookings have gone thorough the roof by 150 percent. Egypt and Turkey are both enjoying a 14 percent increase in sales.

However, Palma airport figures released yesterday state that passengers figures are just a touch up on the first two weeks in July last year so, as tourism experts have been forecasting, visitor figures should at least match last summer.

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