As the country seeks to pick itself up after a depressing year of recession and rain, it seems people are already turning their minds to Christmas as a way of cheering themselves up according to Shearings.

The operator has reported that 90% of its ‘Turkey and Tinsel’ breaks, where people go away to a hotel as early as October to celebrate a traditional Christmas, have already been booked in some areas.

It is also reporting a 15% increase in bookings for Christmas themed breaks, such as excursions to Christmas markets and seasonal events like the Killarney Christmas Festival in Ireland*.

Caroline Brown, commercial director for Shearings, said: “Christmas preparations have undoubtedly started earlier this year. Breaks that have a Christmas theme or offer a traditional festive experience are seeing significant increases.

“This suggests Christmas could provide a much needed boost for the holiday industry and the wider economy as people look to give themselves a festive treat.” However, Caroline also reports that getting good value still seems to be of great importance for people’s Christmas spending.

“We’re seeing strong demand for all-inclusive breaks, that allow people to fix their costs for food and drink, and also breaks that offer entertainment and excursions as part of the package. This suggests that while spending is up on Christmas treats, people still want to ensure they are making their money go as far as possible.”

Example of one of Shearings’ festive breaks: Killarney Christmas Festival - 5 Nights By Air From Only £389 Shearings Holidays is offering a 5-night by air break during the ‘Christmas in Killarney’ festival for £389 per person, saving £50 per person off the brochure price.

Stay in the centrally-located Eviston House Hotel, with traditional Irish entertainment in the Danny Mann Singing Lounge every evening. Included in the price are 5 nights’ half board accommodation, two included excursions visiting the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head, return flights from a selection of regional airports, and resort transfers.

The holiday departs on December 3 and 10.

*Bookings for December coach holidays into partner hotels are up by 15 percent compared to the same period last year. [1 Jan 2008 – 30 September 2008 compared to 1 Jan 2009 – 30 September 2009]

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