Med package holidays a third cheaper

Med package holidays a third cheaper

Package holidays to European destinations are being cut by up to a third as tour operators bid to lure cash-strapped customers.

Family favourites Cyprus, Spain and Turkey have experienced the biggest cuts, whilst the fall of the euro against sterling has led to budgets in resort now stretching further.

According to the Post Office’s Family Holiday Report, the average price paid for a family break to Paphos had dropped by 34 percent this year compared with 2009. There were also price drops of 29 percent for holidays to Crete, 26 percent to Zante, and 24 percent to Turkey, according to the poll.

The most popular long-haul destinations were Dubai and Florida, the group said. Short-haul holidaymakers were most likely to head to Turkey, Greece, Egypt, the Canary and Balearic islands and mainland Spain.

The study also compared the total cost of a dozen beach holiday purchases – including meals, drinks and essential holiday purchases – in 12 European countries.

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Portugal, Bulgaria and mainland Spain provided the best value, with the 12 items costing respectively £68.80 (down by 30 per cent compared with 2009), £73.32 (down 4 per cent) and £78.28 (down 9 per cent) respectively.

France and Italy, where the 12 items cost £133.80 and £141.08 respectively, were the most expensive.

Turkey meanwhile has lost some of its appeal as a budget alternative to the Eurozone, according to the report, with the items costing £115.47 in the resort of Olu Deniz.

“While Portugal and Spain have slashed prices to attract back visitors, France seems less affected by last year’s exodus from the eurozone and prices there are now higher than a year ago,” said Sarah Munro, head of travel money at the Post Office.

Abta chairman John McEwan said: “With prices having fallen in the eurozone and an improved exchange rate on last year, holidaymakers will get a pleasant surprise when they arrive in resort and head for local restaurants and bars.”