News: Package deals still packing them in

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The Independent Travel

More than half of all holidays to Spain, the UK's best-loved holiday destination, are now organised independently. That is according to Britain's biggest holiday company, Thomson - which sells more packages to Spain than anywhere else.

More than half of all holidays to Spain, the UK's best-loved holiday destination, are now organised independently. That is according to Britain's biggest holiday company, Thomson - which sells more packages to Spain than anywhere else.

This week Thomson published a survey showing that 56 per cent of British travellers to Spain arrange their own trips. To Portugal, nearly half (48 per cent) do the same. And to Italy, three out of five holidaymakers organise everything themselves - largely online.

Miles Morgan, the marketing director of Thomson, says reports of the demise of the package holiday are premature - at least for more far-flung destinations. According to Thomson, more than seven out of 10 travellers to Egypt, Thailand and the Dominican Republic say they would prefer to buy a package. To other destinations outside the European Union, including Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey, at least two out of three travellers would choose an organised holiday.

The company - which owns Britain's biggest chain of travel agents - believes that the role of those agents must change. Mr Morgan says they will need "to create an exciting interactive shopping experience in convenient locations and offer a high level of expertise".

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