TRAVELSCENE is expanding its 1999/2000 Drivetime programme to meet a growing demand from clients looking to explore further into Europe.

The operator has reported an increase in the number of self-drive holidaymakers venturing deeper into France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Marketing manager Bethan Phillips said: “In the mid-1980s, clients would typically take a one or two-day break to Calais, Boulogne or their surrounding areas. More recently however they have started to travel further afield into Brittany, the Loire Valley and the southern part of the Nord/Pas de Calais. The result is the length of stay has grown.”

She said a growing confidence of driving overseas has helped fuel the growth.

In France, Travelscene has added Alsace, Provence, Dordogne and Aquitance while in Germany, the Black Forest is new.

In Belgium, Dinant and Bouillon are featured with Utrecht new for Holland.

Also new to the programme are Centre Parcs in France, Holland and Belgium, while its year-round business has been boosted by the inclusion of Christmas markets in featured destinations.

Phillips said the loss of duty-free would only have a small impact on the programme as the product is destination and route led. “Customers are not motivated by duty-free so our business is less vulnerable than the ferries,” she added.