The domestic short-break market is being bolstered by budget hotels, good deals on rail fares and upselling by travel agents.

Superbreak sales director Ian Mounser said January is traditionally a slow period for the operator as agents focus on peak holiday sales with overseas operators.

However, after seeing a 26% year-on-year growth in agent-generated revenues in December, the trend continued in January with sales up 21% on the back of a 7% increase in passenger numbers.

He said: “We’ve made a bit of a breakthrough with agents in the last year or 18 months. Domestic short breaks have gone from being a bit of a sideline to core product.

“The value of sales is rising as well. Bookings increasingly include additional elements such as a show or train tickets rather than just a hotel.”

Mounser said Superbreak is keeping rail prices down by negotiating special prices with GNER and Virgin Trains, meaning a Manchester-London ticket can cost just £32.

He added the move by budget hotel chains to open city-centre properties in popular tourist spots such as London and York has fuelled growth, allowing customers to save on accommodation and spend more on the extras.

The average price of a booking on a short break outside of London is £260, while in London it is £360. All elements are commissionable. The majority of bookings are for two nights for two adults.

Mounser is confident the UK trend will continue this year, adding: “We’re working hard to bring more packageable product to the market beyond accommodation as it helps agents add value to the sales process.”