UK weather boosts overseas holiday bookings

Hotel News - 10/08/2009

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According to some UK travel companies, it may be too late to book a foreign holiday for this summer for those seeking cheaper last-minute deals.

When the Met Office recently admitted that it had gotten the summer forecast wrong, and the “barbecue summer” promise was rained out, last-minute bookings surged by as much as 40 per cent.

Industry experts are reporting that travel companies have nearly “run out” of their last-minute deals. According to Ian Bradley, of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) - “There were 10% fewer deals around this year anyway, because companies anticipated less business thanks to the recession and so cut their capacity.”

He went on to say: “But the moment the Met Office revised its forecast and said there was going to be wet weather until September, all those people planning a 'staycation' panicked and started booking last-minute deals. Most of the best deals are now gone,” adding: “There's going to be a moment when there is literally nothing left and we're fairly close to that point now.”

Huge numbers of requests for late deals are still coming in to travel agencies. has noted a significant increase in requests bookings to longer-haul destinations, with Thailand up by 165 per cent and Hong Kong, by 122 per cent, for example.

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