The wet weather has led to record sales for this bank holiday weekend, according to travel companies.


Online travel agent Travelrepublic.co.uk said the poor weather in the UK had led to a hike in last-minute sales for the bank holiday weekend. Its fastest-selling destination is Dalaman, Turkey, which is 260% up on last year’s bank holiday weekend and the average price of a three night getaway is £790 per couple.


Managing director Paul Furner said: “The recent erratic weather has led to a defined spike in interest in getting away for the bank holiday. It also seems people are prepared to pay quite significant amounts to get away.”


Flybe has reported “unprecedented last minute demand” for regional flights to Spain and France, with sales to both countries up by 10% on last year. The airline predicts an overall increase of 11% in passenger numbers for this summer compared to 2007, including a 10% increase in sales for the four days over the bank holiday weekend compared to last year.


Chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said: “We’ve never experienced quite such a last minute rush for seats.”


Eurostar has seen an 8% rise in the number of travellers using its services this weekend compared to the same weekend last year. It has more than 165,000 travellers booked to travel over the bank holiday and to meet demand seven extra services have been laid on, with a total of extra 5,250 extra seats.


Meanwhile, online travel agency www.holidays-direct.co.uk said the UK’s second wet summer in a row was encouraging more Brits to plan ahead for holidays in longhaul destinations, with sales in the Caribbean, Turkey, Dubai and other traditional luxury hotspots proving popular.


Over-55s specialist tour operator Grand UK Holidays has reported a surge of late bookings, with increasing numbers of holidays being booked within 12 weeks of departure. More than 60% of bookings taken between July 28 and August 7 were for travel in the next 12 weeks and 13% were for travel in August.


Sales director Harold Burke said: “We have been seeing this trend become more pronounced over recent years.”