Long-haul operators come out top in Which? survey

Britons are so in love with their annual holiday, they are prepared to pay nearly twice as much for it. And they are turning away from traditional beach holiday destinations in search of adventure and new experiences.

In a Which? magazine reader survey of the best holiday companies, long-haul specialists Trailfinders and Kuoni were chosen as joint favourites, despite their holidays costing twice the amount of some rivals. The cost of their holidays average £1,300, compared with £677 for the other companies featured in the survey.

Mass market tour operators Thomson and Thomas Cook were rated lower.

Nearly 10,000 readers rated their experiences on categories such as customer service, accommodation and value for money.

P&O Cruises came third with Saga and online travel agency Travel Republic coming joint fourth.

A spokesperson for Kuoni told the Mail: 'We offer a huge range of different trips from exotic beaches to tours, but we work with customers to build the holiday and tailor make it to their needs. Our new Smart brand, which includes three and four-star hotels keeps the quality but offers a more affordable price. Maintaining the trust of travellers and that reputation for reliability are hugely important to us.'

Virgin Holidays secured seventh place, behind The Co-operative Travel at number six while Expedia took eighth place and Teletext Holidays 12th.

Thomson, Thomas Cook and First Choice were towards the bottom of the table, taking 14th and joint 16th place respectively and easyJet Holidays came in at 20th and last place.

The survey revealed the average price of a holiday is now £677 per adult, with an ocean cruise averaging around £1,240. Holidays to mainland Spain cost £455, with France not far behind at £468.

Unsurprisingly, the UK offered the cheapest holidays, averaging at £313.

Scandinavia was found to be the most expensive in Europe, priced at an average of £842 per person.

Which? also found that travellers heading abroad during the school holidays spend 72 per cent more on average than those taking breaks in off-peak times.
Comparing more than 1,400 holidays to the Majorcan resort of Alcudia, researchers found that a week at the resort for a family four cost an average of £1,029 in September compared with £1,775 in the school holidays.
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