Holidaymakers are focusing on long-haul trips this year in an attempt to get more for their money. Searches for non-eurozone destinations on the website soared last month despite the recession, as Britons sought to avoid being penalised by the pound’s weakness against the euro. A spokesman for Abta, which represents more than 5,500 travel agencies and 900 tour operations across the British Isles, said falling fuel prices have also helped to make long-haul destinations more affordable.

The number of people looking on in January for accommodation in Phuket, Thailand, rose by 240 per cent over the same period in 2008.