Families struggling to afford holidays, claim agents

Families struggling to afford holidays, claim agents

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Agents are reporting a dip in the family market as parents snub Turkey but struggle to find affordable summer breaks in the western Mediterranean.

Andrew Earle, proprietor of Andrew Earle’s World of Travel in Hull, said families were already writing off a summer break abroad this year. He claimed average family packages in Spain cost at least £1,000 more this year.

“We normally have relatively strong demand for family packages at this time of year, which we have not had,” he said.

“Clients don’t want Turkey; they are not to be persuaded. They see prices for Spain, and say ‘you’ve got to be joking’. They are saying ‘let’s give it a miss’. We have a massive amount of demand for 2017.”

Midcounties Co-operative Travel general manager Alistair Rowland said the trade was dealing with three major destinations – Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey – being either off sale or lacking demand because of terrorist fears. “You occasionally expect one country to be off the radar, but not three,” he added.

The migrant crisis also continues to affect sales to parts of Greece, such as Kos, he added.

Rowland said it meant families who could not afford long-haul holidays were left with “limited options” for an overseas break.

Andy Tomlinson, director of Sutton Travel in Sutton Coldfield, said the luxury market was less affected. “Nothing is coming through for Turkey, Egypt or Tunisia, but five-star family business is going particularly well,” he said.

Alan Bowen, legal adviser to the Association of Atol Companies, warned the problem would be in the lates market when Spain and Portugal put up “full house” signs.

EasyJet flights to Palma, Majorca, from Gatwick on July 23, returning two weeks later, cost 
up to £650.

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