Consumer Travel: the great Y2K escape

A HOLIDAY over the millennium may cost you anything up to double what you would have paid last year for the same destination and duration. "People are opting for the old favourites," says a Thomson spokesperson. Perennial hot-spots in southern Spain, the Caribbean, the Canary Islands, Australia and the United States are likely to see the highest demand.

Spanish millennium weeks with Thomas Cook are twice as expensive as last year, while Airtours' week in Costa Blanca has risen 75 per cent to pounds 529. The Cox and Kings tour of Rajasthan's forts and palaces has risen 50 per cent from pounds 2,000 to pounds 3,000. Some operators, like Club Mark Warner, have capped increases at 20 per cent.

The rush to leave the country for the New Year is unprecedented. According to Airtours research, "83 per cent of people who would not normally travel at this time are considering foreign travel".

In other words, six times as many people as usual are scrambling for a place in the sunrise. Thomson took 15,000 bookings in the month following the first edition of its millennium brochure.

Possibly best value is being offered by overland tour operators who do not depend on hotels. For example, Encounter, whose trips range from the Himalayas to the Amazon, is not increasing prices.

Few operators are issuing more than a legal disclaimer about the Millennium Bug. Most express confidence that airlines will be compliant. At least one views the Y2K scares as "media paranoia".

Tailored trips abound. Cox and Kings recommends a trip to the Inca fortress of Machu Picchu in Peru or a flight over Everest as the millennium dawns. Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee is the centrepiece of the tour of Israel organised by Jasmin (whose prices will rise no more than 10 per cent). Alastair McCabe of Jasmin also vouches for Jordanian hospitality, making it "ideal for a party", even though Ramadan falls at New Year.

Hugh Riddell

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect