Holiday prices slashed to 84p a night

Holiday prices at rock bottom in desperate fight for customers

Holiday accommodation prices have been slashed to as little as 84p a night as travel giants battle a collapse in bookings.

Fears of unemployment and a slump in the value of the pound against the euro and dollar have created a nightmare for the travel industry. The major tour operators have hundreds of thousands of summer holidays that will have to be sold at knockdown prices.

The price cuts follow an 11 per cent fall in the number of summer holiday bookings made this year. British Airways has reported that recent bookings are ‘dramatically down’ with the result that a number of airlines are cutting prices and costs.

For example, Thomas Cook is offering 14 nights self-catering in a studio at the three-star Villa Sun Apartments, Marmaris, Turkey for £23.48. That works out at 84p per person per night based on two sharing the holiday in May. The cost of flights will push up the final price.

Spain is feeling the worst effect of the downturn with the number of British bookings reportedly dropping by 20 per cent, largely because the fall of the pound has made it a more expensive destination. First Choice is trying to counter this by giving 100 euros to families who book a holiday at one of the four hotels it offers at PortAventura on the Spanish Costa Dorada. The money must be spent at a selection of 13 restaurants and 11 bars.

Travel industry analyst Thorsten Pfeiffer, of German bank Lang & Schwarz Wertpapierhandelsbank, said: ‘Fear is rising the tourism industry will be hurt worse than expected by the crisis.’ Some industry analysts predict 10million jobs could go by 2010 as the recession worsens.

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