Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Freedom Direct announces the launch of two forums dedicated to flight experiences and holidays discussions

Exclusively sponsored by travel expert and holiday specialist Freedom Direct ( ), two new forums and are dedicated to sharing travel experiences and information about holidays.

Freedom Direct holiday forums

They are enlivened by an enthusiastic community of passionate holidaymakers and feature different travel-related subjects. Each user has the opportunity to share information on a multitude of issues, from flights experiences to holiday tips and advice.

The travel forum is the setting for discussions about airports and airline facilities.

Holidaymakers can also share their tips on flights to specific destinations – e.g. “Any good tips on cheap flights to the Canaries this summer?” and advice on everything, ranging from baggage issues to flying with pets.

The travel forum can be seen as a travel guide written by travellers, for travellers.

Organised into different sections, it allows each user to add information on their holiday adventures in specific regions or destinations, such as the Balearics, Spain, Portugal or Egypt etc.

Readers can also find plenty of information on special excursions to take, transport to use once at your holiday resort, or get a wide range of ideas from the other members on how to find great holiday bargains, as well as safety tips to follow for an enjoyable holiday.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ski holiday specialist Ski-Direct reports rise in ski holiday bookings to Canada

Ski Holiday specialist Ski-Direct reports that Canada is attracting more ski holidaymakers than in previous years. People taking group ski holidays especially are heading to the slopes in Canada, according to analysis of early bookings made at through specialist online ski holiday booking agency

A number of trans-Atlantic airline companies have announced extra services to Canada's ski resorts this winter, making the pristine powder and awe-inspiring peaks of Canada more reachable for ski holidaymakers from Europe.

Another boost to Canada’s popularity is the excellent snow conditions its resorts enjoyed during the Winter 2007 season.

Jon Pearce from Ski-Direct says: “Canada is world-famous for its skiing. Snow conditions in the Canadian ski resorts are excellent and have some of the longest ski seasons in the world. Many of our customers return to Canada year after year once they get the taste of it.”

Canada is an ideal destination for group ski holidays, as the ski packages available at the Canadian ski resorts are often more flexible than those available in Europe.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holidays in Majorca are the top choice for UK travellers this summer

Majorca is the most popular destination for holidays, it has been revealed by online travel agency Holidays-Direct, after a review of sales of summer holidays.

Although well established as one of the top European family holiday destinations, it is a surprise to see Majorca holidays ahead of the hugely popular Spanish Costas, which are famous for offering good value and cheap family holidays.

The top 10 summer holiday destinations are as follows:-

1. Majorca
2. Costa Brava
3. Costa del Sol
4. Costa Blanca
5. Corfu
6. Algarve
7. Prague
8. Costa Dorada
9. Turkey
10. Cyprus

Overall Spain is once again the most popular country for summer holidays, with five appearances in the top 10, including Majorca.

Prague is the only citybreak destination to make the top 10. Short breaks in Prague are popular throughout the year, especially near Christmas when the city hosts Christmas markets in the medieval Old Town centre. Prague is also one of the top choices for hen and stag weekends.

Corfu is the only Greek island in the top 10, like Majorca it is a popular choice for family holidays and has recently established itself as great location for couples choosing to marry abroad.

There have been widespread reductions on holiday accommodation rates in mainland Spain and Turkey this summer, making both countries ideal for people looking for cheap family holidays.

Last summer a study of web searches for holiday destinations revealed that Portugal, particularly The Algarve, was the most searched for holiday destination.

Majorca (Mallorca) is an ideal family holiday destination and first became popular with travellers from the UK in the 1960s. There is a wide choice of luxury hotel complexes and self-catering apartments along the clean, sandy stretches of beach. As well as catering to families, the island has a mixture of quiet and more lively resorts with great bars and restaurants, for people looking for nightlife on holiday.

Inland there are several quaint, unspoilt old towns to explore in the mountainous, rural landscape.

Another reason for Majorca holidays being so popular is that there are regular flights to the island from airports all around the UK, making it a convenient choice for holidaymakers wherever they live.

Airports operating regular flights to Majorca: -

Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Doncaster Sheffield, Durham Tees Valley, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gatwick, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Southampton, Stansted.

Note to editors:
This report is based on total sales to date through Holidays-Direct at and partner site for summer 2007 (May to October).

Online travel agency is part of the Midlands Co-operative Society Group and is a member of ABTA. They specialise in providing affordable flights and accommodation in the top holiday destinations around the world.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reports about holiday bargains have been exaggerated, but cheap holidays in Turkey and mainland Spain can definitely be found

Don’t believe the hype, but do your research and you’ll be able to take advantage of great deals on mainland Spain and Turkey holidays for summer 2007. That’s the message from

Recent publicity about £5 bargain holidays this summer has misled many holiday shoppers, says online holiday booking agent, but the truth is there are lots of cheap holidays available in popular holiday destinations.

Although recent news stories have been widely exaggerated, there are significant bargains to be found this year. It is particularly easy to book cheap holidays in Turkey and find mainland Spain holiday bargains this summer.

Recent stories about summer holidays being on sale for as little as £5 have caused a flurry of publicity in both mainstream news circles and tourist industry media. Naturally, such extreme bargain holidays are very rare and the truth behind the headlines is that room rates have been lowered in some of the most popular summer holiday destinations – leading to very customer-friendly price reductions for summer 2007.

This year has seen more and more competition between Mediterranean tourist centres as the prevalence of cheap flights is encouraging people to take more holidays.

The vast majority of holidaymakers now research and book their holidays online and are used to shopping around for the best holiday deals. This consumer demand for cheap holidays is driving competition and pushing prices down.

Paul Reeve of Holidays-Direct said: “The £5 summer holiday bargain is somewhat like the gold at the end of the rainbow, only slightly more believable. It’s a shame there has been so much attention focused on this as it is very true that there have been significant reductions in many resorts in Turkey and Spain. There is a wide range of really good deals to choose from and many resorts are cheaper to stay in than they were last summer.

For example: 7 nights in Turkey this July costs as little as £169 per person. 7 nights in Spain starts at just £199 per person *

Holidays-Direct is part of the Midlands Co-op Group and provides flights and accommodation for a range of countries including; the Balearic Islands, Bulgaria, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Egypt and the Red Sea, Italy, north Africa, Turkey, Spain and the USA.

As well as the online booking service, the Holidays-Direct holiday experts offer expert advice from their helplines. Customers can call 44 (0) 8000 501 301. There are no additional charges for booking online.

Other members of the Holidays-Direct family specialise in citybreaks across Europe ( and skiing holidays ( The Ski-Direct team have over 100 years skiing experience and are specialists in the booking of group ski holidays across Europe and North America.

*Note to editors: Based on seven nights self-catering. Prices subject to changes, correct at the time of publication.

More holiday news at

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Specialist ski holiday agency Ski-Direct continues to grow

Specialist online ski holiday booking agency Ski-Direct has announced a 20% growth in ski sales during the Winter 2006/07 season.

Winter 2006/07 saw the third consecutive 'year on year' boost for since the decision was made by parent company, in 2004 to focus on this specialist market sector.

Ski-Direct attribute their success to the high level of ski expertise among their key staff (they have over 100 years combined experience in the industry) as well as a strong focus on delivering a high degree of customer service.

The online agency caters for specialist ski holiday bookings, such as groups, families requiring child care, as well as North American holidays and the beginner ski holiday market.

David Tonks, Manager of Ski-Direct said: "The major factor that differentiates Ski-Direct from our competitors is the quality and the specialisation in its products as well as its reputation of being one of the top agents for Chalet holidays in the UK"

Ski-Direct are forecasting another successful year for the 2007-8 winter ski holiday season. Advance sales are already well ahead of last year.

Ski Direct has designed interactive pages where skiers can search by choosing the holiday destination of their choice, or browse by specific categories, such as chalets search, luxury Selection, and family information.

To book ski holidays online, it's easy. Just visit the website at and tick on the holiday section of your choice.

Special ski bargains can be also found by clicking on the dedicated bargains section of the site. At the moment, for instance, Ski Direct offers fantastic ski package deals in Les Deux Alpes, in France, from only £189 for 7 nights.

All the ski holiday bargains, resort and weather guide as well as Winter 2007 ski holiday deals can be found on the Ski Direct home page.

About Ski-Direct

The company works with all the major Tour Operators including Inghams, Neilson, Airtours, First Choice and Crystal Ski, as well as the specialist Ski companies such as Ski Total, Ski Esprit, Skiworld and Mark Warner to make the best of customers' winter holidays.

Whatever ski makers are looking for to make the perfect ski holiday, they can find it through Ski-Direct.

Ski-Direct is a member of the Co-operative Travel Trading Group.

Press information, please contact

Jenny Simpson
Online PR Manager
Web Certain Europe Ltd
Blackthorn House
Northminster Business Park
YO26 6QW
44 1904 780030

Friday, January 12, 2007

Book a 'ridiculously cheap' ski holiday thanks to December's mild weather

December’s slump in ski holiday bookings means prices were dramatically reduced and ski fans can pick up some great bargains.

December saw a slump in ski holiday bookings as skiers were put off by reports of unseasonably mild weather, even though most of the major European ski resorts stayed open.

The drop in bookings caused an industry-wide price slash. Now weather conditions have picked up and there are still huge bargains to pick up.

David Tonks of independent ski holiday agent, described the current price of ski holidays as "ridiculously cheap" even though recent snowfalls across Europe have increased bookings and demand since the New Year.

Until this season, it has been rare for ski holidays to be marketed at cheap rates, unlike Mediterranean holidays. However, it is now possible to book seven nights in a top European ski resort for as little as £99 per person, including flights.

David Tonks says: "There was a lot of worry across the industry in December when the weather was so mild in Europe and a lot of relief when the snow fell in January. The Ski-Direct team have one hundred years combined experience in the ski holiday industry and we have never seen prices drop so quickly across the board.

"There are huge bargains out there for people who want to book a ski holiday now."

The mild weather only affected Europe. North American ski resorts have had excellent conditions since the start of the season.

Since the snowfall in the first two weeks of January, Ski-Direct has made more bookings than in the last two months.

Ski-Direct is one of the UK's leading independent ski holiday agents providing ski holiday offers across Europe and North America. The team has over 100 combined years experience skiing and marketing ski holidays. They work with major tour operators as well as specialist ski companies to offer a wide range of ski holidays and they specialise in chalet ski holiday packages.

Ski-Direct is a member of the Midlands Co-operative Society

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sharm el-Shiekh is the big hit of the winter holiday season

Red sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh is the most popular holiday destination this winter for UK holidaymakers.

Flights to Sharm el-Sheikh and hotels in the Red Sea resort for winter 2006 have been booked more often than other locations in the last six months, reports web travel agency

The most popular winter sun holiday destinations are:

Sharm el-Sheikh
Portugal / the Algarve

Holidaymakers are attracted to the Sharm el-Sheikh area because of the perfect winter climate and high quality of the resort hotels.

The Red Sea is very popular for family holidays as well as being one of the best-regarded diving locations in the world.

Jon Pearce of says: “Holidays in Sharm el-Sheikh offer great value for money for families who want to stay somewhere warm and exotic, but not break the bank.”

“There are more cheap deals to Egypt on offer than in previous years and it’s a relatively short flight to Sharm from the UK airports, making it popular for people travelling with young children.”

“Most of the hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh are well-equipped, self-contained resorts, which is especially reassuring to holidaymakers who are concerned about safety and ways to keep children entertained while on holiday.”

Portugal has long been a popular winter sun holiday choice, especially for couples looking for relaxing breaks.

Tunisia is also benefiting from the extra availability of no-frills flights to north Africa. Like Egypt, visitors to Tunisia can enjoy an exotic holiday at great value for money.

Of all countries with strong tourism links to the UK, Tenerife and Lanzarote have two of the best winter climates. A wide choice of self-catering and all-inclusive packages in the Canaries is on offer. Both Lanzarote and Tenerife can be flown to from airports across the UK.

Benidorm perhaps offers the most sensational value for holidaymakers this winter, with cheap flights to the Costa Blanca consistently at low prices.

Tallinn is the runaway top choice for hen and stag weekends in Europe. is an online travel agency and web resource for people researching and booking flights and hotels in all the most popular locations around the world. is a member of the Midlands Co-operative Society.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ski Experts Launch New Skiing Holiday Website

New ski site uses expert knowledge to provide customers with the best possible service.

A new online ski holiday information resource has been launched by a team of travel specialists who have over 100 years combined experience of skiing and selling ski holidays.

Ski holiday specialists at Midlands Co-op Travel have launched which offers winter sports fans helpful hints and tips, as well as flight and hotel bargains.

David Tonks of Ski-Direct is one of the enthusiastic skiers behind the idea to produce a website specialising in ski holidays. He says: "We know, because we are skiers, that using general travel websites can be a frustrating experience when booking a ski holiday.

"On many holiday websites the ski resorts are in the same list as all other resorts, making it harder to find the information you want and there is a distinct lack of useful information about the natures of the slopes and resort facilities."

The new website is designed to be a user-friendly handy research tool for holidaymakers booking a ski holiday - from beginners to experienced skiers.

David says: "Over the years working in the travel industry and going skiing, the team has seen many changes in the sorts of ski holidays customers prefer. For example, in the last ten years or so snowboarding has become hugely popular, especially among younger people."

The other big trend is the increase in families taking young children with them when they ski.

Studies show the average age of the first time skier is dropping every year as more and more under-10s ski with their parents. Ski-Direct offers advice to people booking family holidays, such as where to find family-friendly ski resorts and how to choose the best ski family holiday package.

Ski-Direct also has a guide for people booking group ski holidays.

David says: "For many people going on a ski holiday is more of a social than sporting activity and we want to do all we can to help our customers, many of whom come back to us time and again, to book group holidays - often for groups of twenty people."

There are guides to all the resorts on offer, across Europe and north America, giving details about the difficulty levels of the ski runs and the facilities within the resorts.

Users can also search by departure point, to check which resorts are catered for by their nearest airport.

People who have already booked their ski holiday can keep an eye on the weather where they are going by checking out the Snow Reports.

Ski-Direct is a member of the Co-operative Travel Trading Group.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fantastic value for Florence city breaks

There's a great deal on short breaks in Florence - prices for the flight and hotel package, including breakfast, start at only £89, flying to Pisa Airport.

Holidays-Direct have reported that this deal has been a huge success

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean is best ride at Disneyland Resort Paris, say UK holidaymakers

Holidaymakers who booked family holidays at Disneyland Resort Paris with online travel agency have been surveyed about their favourite rides at the resort - and they say the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is the best.

The most popular rides at Disneyland Resort Paris as voted for by customers of online travel agency are:
1 Pirates of the Caribbean
2 Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
3 Haunted Mansion
4 Big Thunder Mountain
5 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril specialises in family holidays at EuroDisney, offering thousands of customers each year great deals on hotels and travel by Eurostar, air and coach.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Holidaymakers booking online show their confidence in travelling by air, despite 'bomb plot' arrests

Travel agency, has seen record bookings made in the first 12 hours since news broke about the police operation that successfully prevented a plot to detonate bombs, hidden in hand luggage, on planes travelling from the UK to America.

Nick Jackson, Commercial and Marketing Director for Freedom Direct says: "We had fully expected a drop in bookings, as that has been the usual pattern on days such as this, like September 11th, when there is bad news about the safety of travelling by air. We certainly didn't expect to record our highest number of bookings in one day, in the aftermath of such news."

"We can only assume that customers who book on the web are a resilient lot."

"We think this demonstrates a great level of confidence in travellers that the airports and police are continuing to do a great job, enabling people to travel abroad safely. Customers seem sure that 'normal service will resume' quickly, in time for them to travel."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bansko, Bulgaria ski holiday bookings hit new heights

Ski holiday bookings have had a boost in the ski resort of Bansko, as more and more holidaymakers are heading for the snowy slopes of Bulgaria for the 2006 –2007 ski season.

Bookings for the winter ski holiday season have just begun in earnest and Bansko is already looking to be one of the most popular European ski resorts. have seen bookings for Bulgaria ski holidays grow 5 years in a row. This is down to the annual developments of ski and après ski facilities.

Paul Reeve, Sales and Marketing Manager for Ski-Direct believes the appeal is mainly due to the wide availability of cheap package ski holidays in Bulgaria, combined with the increased investment by the Bulgarian tourist authorities in Bulgarian ski resorts as they bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Paul says: “Bulgaria has built up a great reputation as a low-cost holiday choice over the last few years. Bansko has great slopes, particularly for beginner skiers and for snowboarders and we’re seeing a word-of-mouth effect boosting the number of holidaymakers picking Bansko ski holidays.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Travel agencies are real winners in Portugal holiday boom

British holidaymakers don't appear to be holding a grudge against Portugal for knocking England out of the World Cup - since England's exit there has been a surge in bookings of Portugal holidays.

A survey of holiday bookings by online travel agency, has revealed that the Algarve is now the third most popular summer holiday destination among their customers - rising from sixth place in June.

The surge in bookings for holidays in the Algarve began on the same day that England lost to Portugal on penalties after extra time.

Nick Jackson, Commercial and Marketing Director of says: "It's good to see that people aren't put off going on holiday to Portugal just because Ronaldo winked in a dubious way and it's great (if surprising) to see such an increase. It would be interesting to see if Portuguese visitor numbers to the UK have dropped because Wayne Rooney 'accidentally' put his foot down in the wrong place!"

Nick attributes the popularity of holidays in Portugal to the wide variety of affordable hotels in the Algarve and the high quality of the Algarve's resorts. Because of the variety of places to stay, Portugal appeals to a wide range of holidaymakers.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Second homes boost Cypus holidays

Visitor numbers to Cyprus have remained at a steady level, despite an overall drop in sales of holidays in Cyprus from around the world and one of the main reasons is thought to be the boom in sales of second homes in the country.

Over 50% of visitors to Cyprus each year come from the UK, attracted by the cheap holidays in Ayia Napa and other popular resorts. There has been a rise in visitors to Cyprus from the UK in 2006.

Online travel agency, has identified an increase in flight-only bookings for Cyprus this season. This supports the theory that larger numbers of people, especially families, are travelling to Cyprus to stay in second homes.