By Humphrey Carter

A package holiday price war is set to break out in the UK as tour companies capitalise on a recovering market, it was predicted yesterday.
Bookings for the top 20 summer 2010 destinations have risen sharply in the last three months, according to the Co-operative Travel company.
The Turkish resort of Dalaman has seen an 82 percent increase in bookings and has taken over from Majorca as the number one holiday destination for UK travellers in 2010.

Trevor Davis, director of retail distribution at Co-operative Travel, said: “As the holiday sector recovers, the battle for bookers will intensify, with firms seeking to increase their market share after a challenging 12 months.” Davies said that Majorca is now in second most popular place, with Orlando, Florida, third, the Spanish Costa Blanca fourth and the Greek island of Crete fifth.

Other destinations high on the booking list include Bodrum in Turkey, Ibiza and Larnaca in Cyprus.
The price war has been kicked off by travel giant Thomas Cook and the UK's biggest chain of independent agents, The Co-operative Travel but other companies such as Thomson along with the individual airlines are expected to join in the price war in the hope of turning around 2009 figures.

It is estimated that the number of Britons going abroad for leisure - as opposed to business travel - fell around 14 per cent this year.
Travel companies had planned for some of this loss by cutting capacity and room availability particularly after a hot summer was forecast in the UK.


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