Holidays come in many different forms and are taken by many different types of travellers, but by far the most common type of holiday is still the package holiday. Leaving all the hard work of sourcing, organising, negotiating and managing a holiday to someone else leads to a more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Travel companies have existed in one form or another for hundreds of years, from the times when staff would arrange foreign visits for royalty through to today’s travel market where thousands of tourism businesses offer a vast array of holiday options to destinations in every corner of the world. The experience of travel to new destinations has always been something people enjoy and many make room in their finances to pay for at least one significant holiday each year.
Independent travellers make up some of those individuals and these people relish the opportunity to devise their own trips, often to seldom-visited locations and adopting unusual modes of transport or forms of accommodation. But these travellers make up only a small part of a market that is dominated by those who opt for package holidays.
Package holidays have existed in various formats for over 150 years, originally using rail or bus transport but now typically taking advantage of low cost air travel. The development of the charter flight market, providing frequent flights to popular destinations in Europe from a selection of UK airports, helped transform the travel business, making package holidays abroad a very popular choice from the 1950s onwards. By far the most popular package holiday is the trip to a warmer climate offering beaches by the sea and almost guaranteed sunshine. In Europe there is an expanding list of destinations whose whole economy is dependant on the package tour industry. Places such as the Canary Islands, many of the larger Greek Islands, southern Spain and the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Minorca and Ibiza are all places where tourism represents a significant part of local commerce. Destinations such as these have experienced huge economic benefit from the success of the package holiday business and look set to continue enjoying that success if they manage to stay in step with the changing trends in holiday travel.
A package holiday in its simplest form is a pre-arranged combination of the major elements that go together to make up a holiday, namely travel, accommodation and, now more frequently, some catering arrangements. There are various reasons why travel companies are able to provide this combination of components more successfully and efficiently than an individual might. These reasons include business experience and contacts, buying power, language skills, local representation and the size of their existing customer bases. For an individual to compete with a successful package holiday company on all those aspects would be very unusual and many people prefer to leave all that hard work to someone else and simply arrange and enjoy their holidays in the most relaxing way possible.
Cheaper air travel was one of the key drivers of the package holiday market, when in the 1960s and 1970s airlines recognised the opportunities and commercial benefit of transporting larger volumes of travellers to short haul holiday destinations on specifically chartered flights as opposed to scheduled flights. The growth in the charter airline business has been dramatic and now hundreds of flights from major airports each day are made by chartered aircraft heading to the main holiday airports hubs in southern Europe. Places like Malaga, Faro, Nice, Palma de Mallorca, Lanzarote and Dalaman in Turkey all have large, modern and efficient airports that cater specifically for the package holiday industry.
The package holiday itself is also developing and improving, driven by intense competition and the changing preferences of travellers. The typical hotel accommodation and half-board meal plans are being superseded by a wider choice of accommodation options that include villas and apartments and more flexible eating arrangements including the popular all-inclusive format.
A more recent development, made possible by advances in technology, is the concept of the dynamic package holiday, an option that places more choice and control in the hands of the customer. With this development, travellers are able to select from a menu of travel, accommodation, catering and optional extras to build their own customised holiday, in effect a package holiday built uniquely for the individual.
Dan is a frequent traveller who has visited many resorts and holiday regions as part of his work. Trends like changes in package holidays and the development of new styles of travel break are part of his expertise as he reports for various companies and media publications.ERROR_CLUSTERLOG_RECORD_EXCEEDS_MAXSIZE,ERROR_DS_SAM_NEED_BOOTKEY_PASSWORD,ERROR_INSTALL_LOG_FAILURE,ERROR_RING2_STACK_IN_USE,ERROR_STATE_CONTAINER_NAME_SIZE_LIMIT_EXCEEDED
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