Holiday Sales Soar Over Wash-out UK Bank Holiday

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The terrible weather in the UK over the last bank holiday weekend was responsible for a huge increase in holiday sales to sunshine destinations. The credit crunch appears to continue to have minimal impact on the UK consumer's appetite for their annual summer holiday.

It just goes to show that once us Brits have seen a bit of sun we crave more. When the weather was good over the first Bank Holiday weekend the public's thoughts were mostly concerned with barbecues and chilling out in the park or the garden

Howling gales and lashing rain sent Brits stampeding to find sunshine overseas during the last Bank Holiday weekend with holiday sales up by more than a third, according to TravelRepublic.co.uk.

Thanks to the dreadful weather sales on Saturday and Sunday were up 35% compared to the May Day weekend, which saw much of the UK basking in Mediterranean temperatures. On Bank Holiday Monday, when the gales and storms were at their peak, booking levels were up 38%.

Managing director Paul Furner said: "It just goes to show that once us Brits have seen a bit of sun we crave more. When the weather was good over the first Bank Holiday weekend the public's thoughts were mostly concerned with barbecues and chilling out in the park or the garden".

"But the terrible weather over the second Bank Holiday weekend was a sharp reminder of how unpredictable the weather in the UK is. Having had a taste of a few days in the sunshine, consumers weren't content to stay in and watch DVDs with the family and went online in their droves to snap up some sunshine overseas."

And it seems that despite the increased demand for a sunshine getaway there were still some amazing bargains to be had. Highlights included a 7 night break in Majorca in June, flying from London Luton, staying at the 3* America hotel in Calas de Mallorca, all inclusive, for just 212 pounds per person. One of the cheapest holidays booked over the long weekend was a 7 night break in Benidorm, also in June, flying from London Gatwick, staying at the 2* Jesus Apartments in Cala Finestrat, self catering, for just 163 pounds per person.

Countries outside the Euro-zone saw the biggest increases as the public looks to stretch their pound as far as possible. Sales to Turkey were up 80%, Egypt sales were up a massive 122% and the USA saw a rise of 95% against sales over the first Bank Holiday weekend.

Furner added: "Traditional short-haul destinations also saw strong increases with booking levels for Spain up by 34% and Greece up 27%. However, as a result of the strong Euro, we are definitely seeing increased popularity for all inclusive holidays and, at the other extreme, self-catering breaks, as savvy consumers look for ways to make their holiday budgets go a bit further".

"A recent report by the Confederation of British Industry confirmed that the British public are still keen to book holidays despite the credit crunch and ongoing financial worries. Travel was the only consumer services sector to report growth in the first three months of 2008 which illustrates just how important our annual break is - particularly in such a tough economic climate."

Notes to editors:
For more information, interviews and photographs contact Louise Prior at Prior PR on 07786 227572 or email: louise@priorpr.com

About TravelRepublic.co.uk:
Travel Republic is the UK's fastest growing private company. In December 2007, the company topped The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 list, just four years after it was launched.

The TravelRepublic.co.uk website offers charter, low-cost and scheduled airlines, powerful rate shopping technology for hotel rooms and apartments, plus hotel reviews and travel guides written by its customers. Customers can save up to 50% on the price of a comparable package holiday purchased online or on the high street.

TravelRepublic.co.uk works with over 100 different flight operators and offers flights to more than 200 destinations in Europe, the Caribbean, Florida and Canada, plus numerous ski resorts and exotic destinations. The website also offers over 30,000 discounted hotels, apartments and villas plus a wide range of other services such as taxi transfers, airport parking and car hire. The website gives customers complete flexibility with flights, hotels and durations.

Other recent Travel Republic achievements include:
Sep 2007 - TravelRepublic.co.uk appears for the first time in the IMRG-Hitwise Hot Shops List which ranks the UK's top 50 most popular internet retailers, across all sectors.

Nov 2007 - TravelRepublic.co.uk is unveiled as the fastest-growing non user-generated content brand online in the UK.

Apr 2008 - Winner of Online Agent of the Year award at the Agent Achievement Awards. Winner of Best Online Travel Agency Website and Online Travel Brand of the Year at the Travolution Awards.

May 2008 - Winner of Best Online Travel Agent Website at the TravelMole awards.

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