Jamaica in swine flu ‘win’

Jamaica, Egypt and the Domincan Republic have emerged as the top destinations for holidaymakers avoiding Mexico after the outbreak of swine flu, numbers from one of Europe's largest travel companies show…

Demand for long-haul holidays has increased in recent weeks despite news of the disease, which hit shares of holiday companies and airlines when it first came to light last month. 

Bookings to Jamaica are up 30 per cent to Egypt by 23 per cent and to the Dominican Republic by 19 per cent in the last two weeks, according to TUI Travel, the owner of Thomson holidays and Europe's biggest tour operator.

Of the 2,500 TUI customers who were in Mexico when the swine flu outbreak started, only 10 per cent accepted the offer of being brought home early, the company said.

TUI said the strong euro is continuing to hurt demand for holidays in Europe, with the proportion of bookings to non-euro countries up to 32 per cent from 29 per cent. Egypt and Turkey have been the biggest beneficiaries.

The tour operator said summer holiday sales have picked up in the last eight weeks, and while the number of package trips is down, reflecting the trend of recent years, by booking less accomodation in advance TUI has fewer holidays to sell and has been able to keep prices higher. In Britain, average prices are 10pc higher than last year. Demand for long-haul holidays has increased in recent weeks despite news of the disease, which hit shares of holiday companies and airlines when it first came to light last month.

Of the 2,500 TUI customers who were in Mexico when the swine flu outbreak started, only 10 per cent accepted the offer of being brought home early, the company said.

TUI said the strong euro is continuing to hurt demand for holidays in Europe, with the proportion of bookings to non-euro countries up to 32 per cent from 29 per cent. Egypt and Turkey have been the biggest beneficiaries.

The tour operator said summer holiday sales have picked up in the last eight weeks, and while the number of package trips is down, reflecting the trend of recent years, by booking less accommodation in advance TUI has fewer holidays to sell and has been able to keep prices higher. In Britain, average prices are 10 per cent higher than last year.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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