Holiday package prices predicted to soar

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Car Rental News - Thursday, 27th December 2007


The mergers of four travel companies will cause package tour prices to increase.

Travellers would be wise to start planning their own vacations, as the merger of four UK tour operators will reduce the availability of summer holiday packages for next year, resulting in bumped-up prices for consumers.

In 2008, there will 1.25 million fewer summer travel packages than this year after holidays in overlapping areas are cut. The companies reduced the number of short-haul trips to mainland Spain and the Balearic islands, leaving travellers with fewer options.

MyTravel and Thomas Cook declared 23 per cent cuts after their merger, while Thomson and First Choice announced 12 per cent.

Co-op Travel Chief Operating Officer Mike Greenacre said: “The mergers of these four companies mean there will be fewer flights and hotels for families to choose from.”

Greenacre added that booking earlier would increase the number of choices for those purchasing holiday packages. He explained: “We predict there will be fewer package holidays to choose from later on in the season, particularly if you are a family and want to go at a particular time of the year and to a particular destination.”

With the efficiency and ease of booking online nowadays, an increasing number of travellers are planning their own itineraries using the internet.

Industry experts believe the Scottish market for cheap trips will flourish, rather than suffer. Tom Dalrymple, chairman of Scottish budget carrier Flyglobespan said people are planning their own vacations instead of relying on packaged tours.

“Holidaymakers can now go online to low-fare airlines and not only buy flights but also put together their own holiday package with transfers, or car hire and accommodation – at considerably less cost than buying someone else’s ready-made arrangements,” Dalrymple said.

He added that an increase in destinations from Scottish airports would help the market thrive.

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