Domestic tour operators are reporting strong Easter sales due to the high exchange rate costs of holidaying in Europe.

Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick said the pound’s ongoing fall against the euro meant Brits visiting Europe 12 months ago got 15% more for their money while two years ago they got 31% better value for the pound against the euro.

He has warned holidaymakers who are planning a trip to the eurozone of the additional expense and believes this has been a core factor in an increase of bookings for Hoseasons which are 50% ahead of this time last year.

Carrick added: “The reason the package holiday companies are having to discount is that they put their prices up by as much as 15% to take account of exchange rate movements.

“But the hidden costs of many package deals don’t lie in the accommodation and flights, they’re the extra cost of everything once you arrive.”

Superbreak sales director Ian Mounser said he had seen a 10% increase in Easter bookings through travel agents which could grow to 15% as consumers book increasingly late.

While he agreed the increased cost of the euro is a factor, he added the fact that Easter is falling much later this year is also driving the market.

Mounser said: “People’s expectations of the weather are a bit different, the clocks will have gone forward and I think people are a bit more up for it as its spring time.”

Bourne Leisure head of agency sales Allan Lambert said sales are up by 17% for the Easter period on its Haven operation with pricing 20% up while Butlins is expecting to sell out its only resort open with an 8.5% increase in pricing

He added the growth has been helped by the weak pound encouraging Brits to stay in the UK, the increase has been driven by Haven’s inbound tourism arm which has seen Europeans flock to Britain.