The recent heatwave that's had the UK sweltering has had the travel industry sweating for all the wrong reasons, after a 25% slump in holiday bookings. Steve Endacott, founder of On Holiday Group, said the drop in sales has been matched recently only by the grounded flights following the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in 2011.
In the pits of the deepest recession the UK has experienced since World War II, the industry depends more and more on last-minute credit-card bookings, says Endacott. But with temperatures at a 6-year high, those 11th-hour bookers have been opting to enjoy the hot weather at home instead.
As always, what is bad news for the travel industry is good for you, the deal hunter, because with all those unsold holidays, travel agents are being forced to offer some great discounts on fabulous holidays. Here are our favourites, but hurry because Endacott says they'll only "last as long as the heat wave does".
Save £550 on a week-long all-inclusive Gambian holiday at the 4-star Sheraton Gambia Hotel Resort & Spa for £699 per person. The deal is valid for August and September departures and, because it’s all-inclusive, it is great for those on tight budgets, trying to avoid those nasty unexpected costs.
This deluxe holiday in North Cyprus is now £449 per person. The deal includes meals and an upgrade to a Superior Room, and it saves 34% on the regular price.
If a beach week isn't your bag, snap up a stay at this 4-star hotel in Rome for £55 per room per night. The deal includes a room upgrade, breakfast, an aperitif each, plus credit to put towards lunch. And with 55% off an overnight stay, you can treat yourself to an extra gelato.
With temperatures predicted to fall and rain on the way, these deals won't be around for long! Click here for our latest offers for the next four weeks.