The Co-operative Travel is predicting a shortage of summer 2008 holidays because of capacity cuts by major operators.


 


The claim comes as the group, which has more than 400 travel agents nationwide, reveals it will be promoting thousands of holidays at £139 from Boxing Day to push bookings in the peak sales period.


 


Mike Greenacre, chief operating officer of The Co-operative Travel Trading Group and chief executive of The Co-operative Travel, said there could be less choice of package holidays for holidaymakers as a result of the mergers of Thomas Cook and MyTravel, and First Choice and Thomson, which took place earlier this year.


 


He said: “Put bluntly, the merger of Thomas Cook and MyTravel as well as Thomson and First Choice means there will be less flights and hotels for families to choose from in the summer ahead.”


 


In November TUI Travel announced capacity cuts of 12% and Thomas Cook slashed the former MyTravel holiday programme by 23%.


 


Greenacre urged holidaymakers to book early to get the holiday they want.


 


Meanwhile, he predicted Turkey would be a popular destination for next summer, as figures from The Co-operative Travel and Travelcare revealed a 106% increase in bookings in the last six months.


 


“We see no reason why key destinations shouldn’t experience strong growth as seen with Turkey last season. Our own experience shows customers still purchase holidays when the economy turns cold. Brits simply don’t see holidays as discretionary spending,” he added.