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Region expected to be 2011 summer hotspot

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

Travel experts are expecting the Algarve to benefit from increased levels of tourism during 2011 as holidaymakers looking for bargain breaks book their holidays in the region.

The increase in holiday prices from countries outside the Euro zone, including Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia, combined with the weak Euro rate is expected to see British holidaymakers returning to traditionally popular destinations such as the Algarve.

A report by Co-operative Travel has shown that the cost of a holiday in the Algarve has dropped by £96 for a family of four as other destinations have seen increases, with Turkey now costing £94 more per person than last year and a trip to the United States rising by £146 per person.

Mike Greenacre, the managing director of Co-operative Travel said: “Resorts in Turkey and Egypt have seen a massive influx of UK holidaymakers in recent years, tempted by the exceptional value for money, all inclusive concept and guaranteed sunshine.

“However, it is clear from our research that these resorts are now looking to maximise on this recent popularity, with the average price per person going up significantly.”

He added: “The Western Mediterranean offers the best value in 2011 and this is reflected in early bookings for resorts with the Algarve being up 9%.”

Travelsupermarket.com online service have also put together a survey to look into possible trends for 2011 and the Algarve is rated as a top ten destination for this coming year.

Bob Atkinson from travelsupermarket.com said: “Economic issues in Portugal are driving prices down while Brits, who have been staying at home over the last couple of years rather than taking a break in the region, have affected the income of the Algarve, which is dependent on their tourism custom. Deals galore and keen local prices for hotels, food and drink make this a great choice for 2011.”

He added: “Despite the tough economic climate and rising household costs, more Brits are unwilling to give up their annual holiday but we are becoming more savvy when it comes to booking, using the internet to trawl for deals and offers. Value for money is what drives our choice in destination and holiday type.”

The reports come as the prolonged period of bad weather in the UK has prompted increased bookings for summer sunshine holidays.

Positive year

A survey from Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance has shown that 35% of British travellers surveyed intend to take a break between now and the end of March.

Scott Gorman from Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance said: “A lot of people will be fed up with the winter snow and travel delays or cancellations they have had to endure, particularly over Christmas and this may lead to a significant increase in people intending to book a holiday.”

Online travel site TripAdvisor.co.uk is also predicting a more positive outlook for the travel industry as it comes out of a difficult year.

Emma O’Boyle from TripAdvisor said: “Overall 2011 looks more positive for both travellers and the travel industry. Britons intend to travel more often and will spend more money doing so but will proceed with caution as the industry emerges slowly from a difficult year.”

Although the recession continues to affect many people worldwide, holidays and leisure travel continue to be a priority for many with one in 10 British people planning to travel more during 2011 than in 2010, and only 38% of those interviewed for the TripAdvisor survey planning to holiday in the UK compared to 45% in 2010.

The TripAdvisor survey also found that despite austerity cuts and fears of a double dip recession in the UK “the general mood of the nation when it comes to holiday spending is more positive than a year ago”.

Over a third of Britons plan to spend more during 2011 than in 2010, with 32% intending to spend between £2,000 and £4,000 on leisure travel in 2011 and 14% looking to spend more than £8,000 on travel this year.

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]
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