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Busy Bookings Start to the Year

Sarah Slattery reports: “The period from Christmas to New Year was really busy for online bookings – I guess the wet and stormy weather didn’t help instore visits! – but this week has been busy overall.

“Easter will be big this year, with children having almost three weeks off school with the way Easter and St Patrick’s Day fall together, so your clients should get in early before prices rocket! I have checked various options and prices are already quite high: the best family option is a week in Salou for €925 based on two adults and two children in the 4-star Sanguli Resort (pictured above). It’s a mobile home holiday, but in one of Spain’s best parks and is excellent value. If your clients are unlucky and it turns out that it is not beach weather they can venture to Barcelona or visit PortAventura Theme Park, where there is plenty to keep the children happy.

“Campsites in Salou and Lake Garda will be particularly popular this year. Many will change from France because of the European Championships and the Paris attacks. The ISIS affect also means that people will tend to stick to Spain, Portugal and Italy, rather than North African destinations. This will be a European trend so the likelihood is that accommodation in these countries will be priced higher and be scarcer than in previous years. This will be particularly problematic if looking for a last-minute deal.

“The direct flights to Mexico and Jamaica from June should sell well, with prices starting at €1,589 for a 4-star hotel on an all-inclusive basis, including flights, transfers and baggage. People can pay a small deposit too, which helps.

“Ryanair and Aegean Airlines have introduced flights to Athens so this could be the big city break destination for 2016. There are also onward connections with Aegean Airlines to Santorini and Mykonos.

“For families looking for a relaxing family holiday, Menorca could be the destination of choice this year. There are direct flights from Dublin with Sunway and now a new flight from Cork with Stein Travel.

“Cruising is getting more and more popular and prices seem to be getting better each year. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are offering ‘buy one get one half price’ plus free drinks packages. The popular all-inclusive package holiday concept has transferred to cruises now.

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