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Snow sparks holiday bookings surge

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An increasing number of British holidaymakers are opting for a vacation overseas, prompted by the freezing UK weather, according to travel firms.

Holiday company Travel Counsellors reported a 20% surge in bookings, with popular destinations including those outside the eurozone such as Egypt and Turkey.

According to the travel agent, more people are opting for 10 to 11 nights over Christmas and into January rather than the traditional two weeks.

Travel firm www.lowcostholidays.com said visitor traffic on its website grew by 60% since the first snow fell, and top holiday searches are for Canary Islands, Dubai and Thailand.

According to booking services firm Hotels.com, searches on its website for holidays in Miami had risen year-on-year by nearly 700%, followed by searches for trips to Granada in Spain, Florence in Italy and Orlando in Florida, US.

The surge in those travelling overseas highlights the need for adequate travel insurance that covers medical expenses from both injuries and illness while abroad and emergency repatriation.

Alison Couper, communications director, Hotels.com, said: "With the cold weather predicted to stay over December, it's evident holidaymakers want to get as far afield as possible."

© Press Association 2010