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Foreign getaway bookings soar on Royal wedding weekend


Far from organising quaint street parties or queuing overnight for a glimpse of what Kate Middleton is wearing, huge numbers of Briton are jetting off to warmer climes.

Bookings for foreign holidays have soared for the four-day break period over 29 April, according to tour operators and airlines. The number searching online for getaways has doubled over last year, with travel agents reporting increases of between 30 and 56 percent in people interested in their short-break offerings. Hotels.com reported a stunning surge in searches of 212 per cent over last year's figures.

The big boys in the sector are responding appropriately, with Thomas Cook releasing 33 peer cent more holidays than usual and Ryanair trumpeting a 65 per cent hike in bookings. Lonely Planet's Tom Hall describes it as an unexpected bonus for foreign travel operators, saying it's 'not quite what PM David Cameron was expecting when he added a bank holiday to the weekend'.

Mr Hall reckons it's a great time to leave town as foreign tourists arrive, adding the Caribbean's perfect at that time of year. Of course, he adds, workers will want to take advantage of a four-day break, preferably somewhere war. MD of Thomas Cook Holidays Richard Calvert pointed out that, with the Easter long weekend followed immediately by the Royal wedding long weekend including May Day, employees would only need to take five days' annual leave to take a two-week holiday.

Hoteliers in London are doing the usual, racking up room prices in the hope of a windfall and homeowners are joining in, hoping to let their properties to those fascinated by the British Royal family while they hit the Mediterranean beaches.

Sellers of Royal wedding memorabilia on Oxford Street, however, are not feeling the benefits yet, with little interest in the goods, except for their kitsch appeal.