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Rise in early bird holiday bookings to Greece

Afionas beach Corfu

January has seen a surge in bookings for Greek Islands holidays according to the world's largest travel group TUI.

Of course, January is always a busy time for travel companies as families open their travel brochures and think of where to go for their summer break.

But Greece and the Greek Islands appears to feature heavily this year, especially with UK and German holidaymakers.

TUI claims that January is now the busiest month of the year for holiday bookings in Europe with a big spike in interest on the first Saturday of the New Year.

This year TUI, which owns Thomson and First Choice brands, reported more than 27,500 holiday bookings on January 7th alone with nearly one million expected to visit company stores or websites over the month.

All-inclusive holidays are also gaining ground with Brits, according to TUI, where a survey of 2017 booking so far shows 53% opting for all-in hotel deals.

Mediterranean beach holidays are always high on the list for British tourists with Corfu and Rhodes leading the way.

Both islands are among those where Greek hotel owners are dropping prices in a bid to attract more out-of-season visitors.

Cheaper hotel rooms are being offered on 20 popular island destinations in Greece as hotel owners try to bolster bookings from the British market with nightly hotel rates as low as €3.50 per person per night.

These super-low rates apply to off-season bookings through UK tour operator members of the Association of British Travel Agents with the some of the lowest prices offered for holidays on popular resorts in Rhodes, Corfu and Crete.

Other cheap Greek hotel rates include €4.50 a night on mainland Parga and €6 a night on Kos.

Hotel rooms on the well-known Ionian islands such as Zante can be picked up for €7 while it is just €8 euros on neighbouring Lefkas.

A night in a cheap hotel on Lesvos is just €9 euros with a similar price for the Cycladic islands of Paros and Naxos.

You can book a hotel room for just €10 euros in Halkidiki and Evia and only €11.50 for Skiathos, Ios and Samos.

Greek hotel owners are hoping to pull in tourists that are looking to avoid other problem Mediterranean regions that face terrorism issues, such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.

A similar strategy last autumn prompted a big rise in late bookings for Greek Island holidays, and hotel owners are hoping to boost early bird holiday visitors this spring.

A survey by the Greek National Tourism Organisation) found the main reasons for choosing Greece as a late season holiday destination were lower prices, mild weather and quieter beaches.

The trend to book summer holidays in early January continues in other European countries as well as in the UK.

One of the reasons for this trend is that customers last year experienced booking bottlenecks last summer, especially for trips to Spain — still the top selling beach holiday destination in Europe.

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