Bookings for Majorca from the UK going well. | Miquel A. Borras


Traditionally this is the peak period for Britons booking their summer holidays. Few people will have not noticed the massive publicity campaigns airlines and tour operators are currently mounting on TV, on the radio and in the media and the host of offers already available for this summer.

Some industry sources have said that this year’s advertising campaigns have been much larger and widespread than usual and have even suggested that the airlines are locked in a price war.

And a statement today from Jet2 claimed that next week there is going to be a rush on summer holidays, with Majorca tipped to be the top spot, although at the moment Greece is proving to be the most sought after destination.

However, as it does not have the bed capacity that the Balearics have, Greece may sell well and fast but it will suffer an overbooking problem and the overspill will end up coming to the Balearics.

Eastern Europe, Croatia, Bulgaria and Poland, for example, are also attracting a lot of interest and even Turkey is reporting a slow revival. But the Balearics are still top of the list.

Despite Britain approaching what is apparently the most depressing day of the year, Jet2’s new research suggests that Britons are taking it in their stride by taking steps to have a happy and action-packed 2017. With one in four of the 2,000 adults questioned saying they are glad to see the back of 2016, just 6% of Britons expect to feel down this Blue Monday.

Over a quarter claim not to know what Blue Monday even is. Instead, more than two thirds report that far from feeling blue, they are approaching the day feeling positive about the year ahead and are taking positive steps for a happy and healthy 2017.

The research shows that as well as exercising, getting into new hobbies and eating well, booking a holiday is one of the things people will most likely be doing this Blue Monday. It also shows that Britons’ sense of adventure is alive and well, with well over half planning to book a holiday destination they’ve never been to before.

All of this is backed up by Jet2holidays data, as they gear up for record-breaking booking numbers over the weekend and into Monday. The airline and tour operator is expecting a fourfold increase on normal booking volumes over these days, a significant increase on peak periods last year. In response, they have increased capacity in their call centre and online and social media teams.

The majority of those making bookings over the next few days will be jetting away for beach holidays – with well-known favourites such as Majorca, Spain and the Canary Islands selling well. Destinations such as Costa de Almeria, Halkidiki and Croatia are also selling fast, and they are seeing a spike in bookings to city break destinations such as Prague, Budapest and Barcelona.

Zoe Towers, Head of Product at Jet2holidays added: "This time of year has always been a popular time for bookings, but this year we’re expecting a surge of bookings over the weekend and into Monday. We’ve prepared for this demand by increasing the number of customer support staff, both in our call centres as well as in our online and social teams to help with enquiries. This year seems to be one of exploration, with people choosing to book new destinations as well as well-known hotspots, and we’re seeing this with ‘off the beaten path’ destinations such as Halkidiki, Costa de Almeria and Croatia proving very popular.

"With this appetite to get out, do things and see the world it means that the phrase ‘Blue Monday’ feels a bit wide of the mark this year, and our research certainly shows that."