One online travel agent has dispelled suggestions that the credit crunch is affecting the holiday plans of Britons in 2008 by reporting a 50% year on year increase in visitors to their website. Top 10 travel agent directline-holidays.co.uk reports that 2 million monthly visitors are using their website which offers a wide range of cheap package holidays.

Directline-holidays.co.uk Managing Director Tony Bradley said:
“Despite the current financial climate, it’s obvious that many of us view our holiday plans as a necessity rather than a luxury.
The fact that we’re currently receiving 2 million visitors per month suggests many people will be cutting back on other spending before they sacrifice their holiday plans.”

A recent study from the Post Office showed that despite the credit crunch, 64% of holidaymakers have or are still planning to take a holiday this year, and over three quarters (77%) of UK internet users said that they use the net to research their holiday before they leave.

Stewart Fox-Mills, head of broadband at the Post Office, said: “With budgets for luxuries squeezed, UK residents seem to be making sure they enjoy every minute of their well earned-break during the credit crunch by taking a virtual tour of their hotel, picking the best spot on the beach or even zooming in on their destination on Google Earth.”

Directline-holidays.co.uk recruited an additional 12 members of staff in July to deal with the extra business generated by their innovative website, which recently incorporated video guides of over 1,000 hotels into search results and now allows visitors to see what other holidays are being searched for – in real time.

Tony Bradley was also quick to dismiss recent media reports suggesting a huge number of Britons were abandoning their holidays abroad in favour of resorts in the UK:

“In many cases it’s actually cheaper to go on holiday abroad than it is in the UK, especially in destinations where you get more for your pound, such as Turkey and Cyprus, who have yet to adopt the over-inflated Euro.”

“With the UK’s unpredictable weather, combined with some fantastic deals featured on our website for under £300, it’s no surprise that people are reluctant to substitute Spain for Skegness.”

The increase in site visitors has also prompted industry analysts Hitwise to feature directline-holidays.co.uk as one of the top 10 travel agents for the week ending 5th July 2008, finishing above more established names such as Virgin Holidays, Co-Op Travel and MyTravel.

Contact: Ross Marchant - Tel: 020 8239 8844 | Email: ross.marchant@directline-holidays.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th August 2008