Tunisia tops Thomas Cook’s 2013 travel trends

LONDON, February 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

With the UK suffering an even worse winter than usual, plagued by record levels of snow, ice and rain, it's not difficult to see why most of us are turning our thoughts to holidays in the sun – with 4.5 million searches on http://www.thomascook.com/ between Christmas and New Year alone.

Luckily, the UK's favourite tour operator is on hand to provide some top tips as to the biggest travel trends for 2013.

Top Tip – Tunisia

In terms of destination, 2013 is the year to go to Tunisia. With searches on Tunisia holidays up 40% on this time last year, canny holidaymakers should get there before the crowds do. The country's diversity comes as a surprise to those expecting nothing but desert – not only does Tunisia offer miles of golden sandy beaches, but also a lush and green mountainous interior, populated with rivers and lakes. Its low rise hotels not only offer the latest in luxury at great prices, but have also been built in harmony with their surroundings – no eyesores here!

The destination is an adrenaline-seeker's dream also, with diving, windsurfing and sailing on offer; or golf for those preferring a more relaxed pace. With year-round sunshine and temperatures reaching a balmy 20°C as early as March, it really is the perfect springtime escape.

Winter Sun in the Canaries

Those seeking sun holidays in the next month or so appear to be favouring the Canaries as their getaway of choice – searches are up 17% on last year. Tenerife is the most popular of the three islands, but Lanzarote is 13% more popular than at the same period in 2012. The appeal of these island gems is legendary – situated just off the Atlantic coast of North Africa, they enjoy year-round temperatures which rarely dip below 20°C. Their popularity with holidaymakers mean that they offer all the amenities one could want from a sunshine getaway – fantastic hotels, restaurants offering a wide variety of world class cuisines and a huge array of water sports are just a few of the attractions that keep Brits coming back here year after year.

Summer Sun on the Grecian Islands

In terms of bargain holidays for summer 2013, the current trend appears to be centred on the Greek Islands, with searches for Lefkas, Lesbos and Skiathos up 40% on last year. The rugged volcanic coastlines and stunning whitewashed architecture of Santorini appears to be particularly popular – up 50% on 2012. Holidaymakers should book without delay before accommodation on these iconic islands is sold out!