Over the past few days, thousands of Britons have not only been rushing to the sales, they have also been snapping up their summer holidays. The Bulletin reported earlier this month that Spain and the Balearic markets were performing extremely well in the UK with the sale of package holidays well up on last year, catching many tour operators by surprise and forcing them to put a block on the sale of peak season holidays in an attempt to shift off-season packages first.
Ahead of the post-Christmas rush, sales of package holidays to Majorca were 24 per cent up on the same time last year and Spain in general, by 30 per cent. But with the traditional post-Christmas surge in bookings underway, the Balearics is continuing to prove extremely popular.
Hundreds of thousands of families are cashing in on the bonanza, as firms slash prices by hundreds of pounds. Travel operators are launching a huge range of deals, with some cutting as much as £800 off trips to Europe and further afield. Bargain hunters are being urged to shop around for their trips, with thousands of free children’s places also up for grabs.
As operators cut prices on a range of package deals, experts said cheap getaways were also being bolstered by the soaring pound. Sterling currently stands at 1.36 euros to the pound while currencies in non-eurozone destinations continue to plunge.
With resorts slashing local prices, Britons can expect to see their money stretch up to 20 per cent further in popular destinations.
Andrew Flintham, commercial director for Thomson and First Choice, said: “We have some great deals available for the New Year, with thousands of free kids’ places. We advise our customers to book early so they can take advantage of these early booking offers and get the holiday they want.”
Thomas Cook has knocked £400 off prices on family holidays to Europe, including Greece and Spain, where children can go for £1. Bargain hunters can snap up a seven night stay in Minorca for £399 per person, with a week in Majorca at £489 and Corfu for £249 per person.
Bob Atkinson from TravelSupermarket said that many Britons have started booking for the summer. “As soon as the turkey was wolfed down, the all-out frenzy of 2016 holiday booking began.”
Greece is trying to make a big play for a good share of the UK market by offering some attractive deals but the Balearics looks like it is going to be the number-one destination for the British next summer and the British market looks set to overtake the Germans which was flat last year.