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Holiday deals cut for 2008

An estimated 1.25 million fewer summer sun holidays will be available in 2008 due to consolidation between the major tour operators.

The claim comes from the UK trader Travelcare.

Mike Greenacre, chief operating officer for  Cheaperholidays, said: “Put bluntly, the merger of Thomas Cook and MyTravel as well as Thomson and First Choice means there will be less flights and hotels for families to choose from in the summer ahead.”

Since coming together large tour operators have already stripped out over supply to short-haul favourites like mainland Spain and the Balearics, according to the agency group.

In November, Thomson’s parent company TUI announced 12% of cuts while Thomas Cook slashed the former MyTravel holiday programme by as much as 23%.

Greenacre said: “Holidaymakers have got used to having plenty of holidays to choose from, which has fuelled the growth of late deal breaks.

“We are predicting there will be less 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.

“Significant consolidation means there will be less flights, hotels and ultimately, choice.”

Turkey is predicted to be the hot destination for Brits looking for a summer break during ’08.

Research by The Co-operative Travel and Travelcare shows that destinations such as Alanya on the Turkish Riviera saw bookings more than double in the last six months.

Greenacre added: “Despite talk of economic gloom on the horizon for 2008 we are confident this will not significantly affect the holiday market and see no reason why key destinations shouldn’t experience strong growth as seen with Turkey last season.

“Our own experience shows consumers still purchase holidays when the economy turns cold – Brits simply don’t see holidays as discretionary spending.

“What’s clear is that there are some great deals around for holidaymakers but the message is that with fewer holidays out there you shouldn’t wait around to get the holiday you want.”

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