The wet weather in the UK has boosted sales of overseas holidays, say tour operators and agents, with some reporting bookings up by one-third on last July.

Global Travel Group chief executive Andrew Botterill said: “The weather has had a positive effect. Sales for July have been 27% up year on year.”

Worldchoice director Helen Burgess reported sales at her agencies Pursers Travel Worldchoice and Didsbury Travel Worldchoice up 30% for the month on 2006.

Former ABTA president and Bath Travel joint managing director Stephen Bath said sales at the group were 5% up so far this year, with the market particularly strong in the last three weeks.

Travelcare head of retail Karen Pocock agreed the downpours have had a positive effect, with sales in mid-July up 12% year on year and average selling prices also increasing by 7%. Pocock rated Palma the top destination, with Turkey and Greece also strong.

Domestic tour operator Hoseasons denied the adverse weather was hitting its business. Chief executive Richard Carrick said: “It has had an effect on short-term bookings, but not long term. People are fairly resilient: if they are going on holiday in the UK they expect the weather to be variable.”

Hoseasons said the biggest problem it faced was people not arriving on time to take possession of the boats or properties they had booked.