Parts of the trade are reporting mass-market holiday prices are suffering this summer despite a recent pick-up in sales.

Cosmos Holidays sales director Andy Washington estimated prices were down by around £35 per person as operators battled it out to sell peak season holidays.

He said: “Even though volumes have picked up in the past three weeks they have not been able to pick up prices. Tour operators have to look at what other operators are selling at.”

He added August was “virtually sold out” with few beds left in popular resorts, although flight-only was still available.

Balkan Holidays sales and marketing manager Chris Rand added that over-capacity in the market had hit prices. “Yields are down,” he said.

However, other major operators claimed prices were not suffering, with some claiming prices were up by £40-£60 per person.

Thomson sales director Derek Jones said: “We are seeing a very buoyant market and are pleased with volumes and revenues.”