Families head to Egypt for cheap sun

27 October 2009

UK families in search of sunny bargains this October half term are heading to Egypt according to one of the UK’s largest holiday providers, The Co-operative Travel.

Half-term holidays to Sharm El Sheikh have increased by 142% according to the report based on over 1,000* bookings. This dramatic rise has gone hand in hand with a significant fall in the cost of holidays to the resort, with the average selling price for a family holiday dropping by 20.7% (from £2,394 to £1,898) whilst the price of holidays to Tenerife, still the number one family destination, have risen by 14.7%.

The pound falling to a six-month low of 1.0628 Euros to the pound** may have also contributed to the shift in destination choice for families, with Spain in particular losing out. Majorca, for example, family favourite in 2008, has been knocked off the top spot into fourth place.

Trevor Davis, Director of Retail Distribution at The Co-operative Travel, said: “Holiday destinations like Tenerife will always be popular in October as they offer good weather with relatively short flight times.

“However, there has been a shortage of late deals this year and with the Euro still high, families are looking further afield for value for money. Resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh also benefit from having a large selection of all-inclusive hotels, so families can budget for their holiday before they travel.”

However, Trevor also warns that the holiday industry must do more to help families wanting to travel further to find better deals.

“Our research shows that 82% of families stick to European destinations because they are worried about the complications of travelling with children and also because of family unfriendly practices like low baggage allowances that fail to account for the extra needs of family groups.

“We’ve made sure that families travelling with us will get a better service, extending free kids’ places and giving a 20kg luggage allowance (5kg more than the standard) on selected holidays. Our aim is to encourage parents to feel more comfortable taking children abroad and we hope the rest of the industry will follow our lead.”

The Co-operative Travel has also introduced Family Package Upgrades on selected holidays, where families can receive priority check in and boarding, with grouped seating guaranteed.

*Top 10 Family destinations for October half term with average selling price (ASP), departing in October Half Term S09 vs, S08. Prices are based on a booking of 2 adults and 1 child.

**Consumer Prices Index (CPI), Published on 13 October 2009 at 9:30 am

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