Millions to escape Britain during Olympics for holidays abroad

Roshina Jowaheer

PA



With rain at home and the weak Euro, millions of British tourists are expected to escape the UK during the Olympics for a holiday abroad, the Telegraph reported.

Research by tour operators and travel agents has revealed that the Government's best efforts to persuade Britons to holiday at home have not had a huge impact on their travel habits.

Concerns over high hotel prices in London during the Olympics, the recent bad weather and the continuing strength of the pound against the euro has encouraged Brits to get away from Britain and head overseas between 27 July and 12 August.

Online travel agent lastminute.com said bookings between these dates were up by 207 per cent on last year, a survey by travel technology provider Amadeus suggested one in five British adults will take a holiday abroad during the Games and holiday offers website Travelzoo found that 30 per cent of Britons would head overseas during the Olympics, with Spain and Greece the most popular destinations.

Diane Bouzebiba, managing director of Amadeus, said: 'While the Olympics undoubtedly presents a very exciting prospect for a lot of people, our survey shows that there are also plenty who are looking to get away.'

Travelzoo's UK managing director Joel Brandon-Bravo said that flight prices were higher than they normally are in late July and early August and this had encouraged hoteliers to cut their rates. He added that some of the best deals could be found in Turkey and the Balearics, with package discounts of up to 65 per cent.

The UK's biggest tour operators, Thomas Cook and TUI UK & Ireland, confirmed that the Olympics had not had a negative impact on their bookings. Both said that bookings for Egypt and Tunisia were once again strong after the past unrest.

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