Booking a Holiday and the Journey There for Britons is More Exciting Than the Holiday Itself

LONDON, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —



The Great British Holiday Report reveals our vacation habits

Our holidays might be the highlight of our year, when we enjoy a few precious weeks away from the pressures of our lives at home. Yet for many people, the excitement starts long before we actually arrive at our destination.

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The planning and preparation for our travels is enough to put Brits in a good mood according to new findings from the Great British Holiday Report commissioned by Teletext Holidays. Almost a third (31%) feel most excited when on the journey to the destination, nearly 1 in 5 of us (19%) say it is when we actually book our vacation and 10% of us say we are the most excited when deciding where to go on holiday.

23% book within two months of travel and more than two thirds (67%) book within six months of departure. Of these, 12% are possibly enticed by last-minute offers, and book within a month of travel. “There are deals to be had right up until the last minute and we’d encourage those people who would typically book well in advance, to keep their eyes open for last minute offers too”. Amy Patel, Teletext Holidays

Men are the most likely to book a last minute deal, whilst women are almost twice as likely to book more than a year in advance. Although the average Briton spends £554.40 per person on their holiday it’s important to note that a total of 45% spend £400 or less, with just 17% spending more than £800. This indicates that a budget-friendly break, rather than a luxury getaway, is now the preferred option for the majority of Britons.

Yet, almost a third of Britons (31%) say they feel as if they have been ripped off when booking a holiday. Families are particularly budget conscious and feel more cheated than others. “Value for money is really important to our customers; this is why we recently launched our campaign Best Holidays… Best Prices, which ensures the prices you see on our website are the best prices available from the suppliers we work with” Amy Patel, Teletext Holidays.

Ends

Note to Editors

The Report, commissioned by Teletext Holidays showed that when travelling overseas, the most popular countries for families are:

  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. USA
  4. Greece
  5. Italy

The most popular city spots for Britons are:

  1. Barcelona
  2. Paris
  3. Dublin
  4. Rome
  5. Amsterdam

And the most popular beach holiday spots for Britons are:

  1. Barcelona
  2. Florida
  3. Benidorm
  4. San Francisco
  5. Sydney

The research for Teletext Holidays was carried out online by Opinion Matters between : 07 / 06 / 2013 and 11 / 06 / 2013 amongst a panel resulting in 1775 UK adults. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

About Teletext Holidays:

At http://www.teletextholidays.co.uk people can search and compare prices from thousands of holiday offers to multiple destinations, including packages, cruises and villa deals from the UK’s leading travel companies. Teletextholidays.co.uk had more than 19 million unique users in 2012.

Teletext Holidays is a subsidiary of Teletext Holdings Ltd, a joint partnership between Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT) and the company management team. DMGT is the parent company of media titles such as the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro.

For further information or for a copy of the full report please contact:

Amy Patel at [email protected]


Travel: Mani delights in Greece

One of the memorable scenes in the new Hollywood film Before Midnight, mostly set in the Mani region of southern Greece, is a long, convivial, Mediterranean-style lunch for six friends on the stone balcony of a seafront house.

It’s the seductive image of laid-back Greek life that tourists still crave in vast numbers. But what makes this scene even more appealing is that this elegant property in the coastal village of Kardamili was the Greek retreat of the late, great travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor.

Fermor, who died in 2011, was an iconic figure, war hero and bon vivant, whose soirees on the terraces of this house attracted princes, poets, and Hollywood legend Sophia Loren on one occasion.

It was Fermor who first popularised this “wild” region of the southern Peloponnese when he wrote his seminal book Mani, charting his trailblazing adventures there in the 1950s when the area was cut off from the rest of Greece due to abysmal roads. He described the Mani as having “survived in a fierce and enchanting time warp”. In subsequent decades, however, the Mani relaxed back into a kind of blissful obscurity and Fermor’s description still seems relevant.

All that is likely to change when Before Midnight (starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), is released this weekend. Already tipped for an Oscar, the film is certain to create a buzz about the Mani again.

And the timing couldn’t be better. Although some dedicated visitors would still rather have the “time warp”, Maniots at least will relish an influx of tourists, having suffered years of economic crisis, like the rest of Greece. Many will even be hoping the film will do for this region what Captain Corelli’s Mandolin did for Kefalonia. Another boost for the area is easyJet’s launch this summer of flights to Kalamata from Gatwick.

The Mani is a vast, diverse region with many pretty coastal settlements like Kardamili, built mostly in the 17th century but dating back to the time of Homer, but it is also dominated by the Taygetos mountains with its wilderness areas and the deep ravines of Rindomo and Viros, and by its wealth of Byzantine churches and monasteries.

For me, the north Mani holds the greatest appeal. I spent the past three years there, living in a hillside village on what started out as a year’s casual adventure but quickly grew. I can vouch for the seductive charm of the place and its people and the way it can undo your best-laid plans. The village of Megali Mantineia, although just 30 minutes from Kalamata, is a world apart, where life hasn’t changed much in centuries and locals still harvest olives, though it is rare in having four lively tavernas and a kafeneion (coffee shop).

Few villagers there speak English and many are blissfully ignorant of the outside world. The joy of this part of the Mani is the wealth of old settlements tucked away in the hills and the network of cobbled donkey tracks (kalderimia) that connect these places and make it perfect for those who love walking and leisurely exploration.

Few visitors venture down to the tip of the Mani, to Cape Tainaron, and yet the drive there (two-and-a-half hours from north Mani) is the best introduction to this long peninsula with 50 miles of mountain range running down the middle of it like a spine. The road winds past some of the Mani’s best-kept secrets, such as the sandy beach of Kalogria, south of Kardamili, where the writer Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek, lived in a wooden hut in the early 1900s with the mad idea of running a lignite mine in nearby Stoupa. He hired the real-life George Zorbas to oversee the venture, and he became the inspiration for the fictional character.

The road will also take you past wide Otylo Bay and Limeni Bay, with fish tavernas that hug the waterside, and the famous village of Vathia, with its rows of fortified towers, mostly in ruins, filing across the peak of a low hill. The village reflects the turbulent history of the Mani, with its clan warfare, macho revolutionaries, and its skirmishes with the Ottoman Turks.

Further south and the landscape has a sun-scorched, barren feel and the mighty Taygetos finally runs out of steam just before the end of the road at Cape Tainaron. For me, the cape has always been a ghoulish magnet, as its main “attraction” is the fabled Cave of Hades, or the entrance to the mythological Underworld, overlooking the Bay of Asomati. This was the portal through which Hercules descended for his 12th “labour” to drag up the snarling, three-headed dog Cerberus.

With the remains of an ancient temple to Poseidon, there’s a mystical quality to the Cape that attracts scores of pilgrims every summer.

The film does use other locations in the southern Peloponnese that have also been largely unknown until recently. There are scenes throughout the equally attractive Messinian peninsula, including a long segment around eerie, sprawling Methoni Castle, once a Venetian stronghold at the tip of this prong. The whole southern Peloponnese deserves more world attention and Before Midnight might just deliver that. But even if tourists mob the place, I feel sure that villages like Megali Mantineia won’t change a bit. The film will come and go like another autumn olive harvest.

• Marjory McGinn is the author of Things Can Only Get Feta (Bene Factum Publishing, £7.99), which is published on 30 July. For more info visit www.bigfatgreekodyssey.com; easyJet (www.easyjet.com) has flights twice a week from Edinburgh to Athens. One-way fares start at £25. easyJet also has flights twice a week (from July to November only) from Gatwick to Kalamata, from £37.


Group Belatedly Claims Attack in Greece

A previously unknown organization called Group of Popular Rebels claimed responsibility on Wednesday for an attack in January on the headquarters of the dominant conservative party in Greece’s ruling coalition, saying it was protesting the government’s continuing austerity drive. In the assault, gunmen opened fire on the offices of New Democracy and a bullet pierced the office window of party leader and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, but no one was hurt. A document posted on an anarchist Web site said the group’s “comrades” first tried to hit the building using a rocket-propelled grenade, but it malfunctioned. “We promise the struggling people of Greece that next time we will be more efficient,” the document said. It added that it had delayed its claim of responsibility to give it time to improve its ties with other urban radical groups. The assault followed bomb and arson attacks on journalists and politicians, all bloodless.