Holiday bookings are expected to increase by 16% today as consumers defy ‘Blue Monday’.

Statistics from Travel Counsellors reveal that Blue Monday is set to be the busiest Monday of the year for bookings.

In particular, data shows significant rises on Christmas and October half term bookings – up 36% and 34% respectively – as families look to plan ahead.

This surge in demand follows strong growth figures for the travel company, with sales for January to date already up by 12% year-on-year.

This includes a range of sun and city destinations, with Costa Adeje in Tenerife the most popular location so far this year.

Dubbed the most depressing day of the year, ‘Blue Monday’ typically occurs on the third Monday of each year.

Established in 2005, the day is said to be the end of the post-Christmas good spirits, with many people already struggling with new year resolutions and increasing debt levels.

But Travel Counsellors UK managing director Kirsten Hughes said: “Following the return to work after the Christmas break, consumers are always looking to find the next thing to plan and look forward to.

“The introduction of Blue Monday has given people the excuse they need to make that booking, resulting in growth in sales across the board on that day.

“That impulsive nature has led to a rise in last minute travel booked for February and March in recent years – a trend we expect to see continue to build momentum again this time around.

“This year promises to be the biggest rise in bookings yet, with sales already at strong levels.

“Families have shown an increased willingness to plan ahead, with Christmas skiing breaks and summer and half term bookings already a priority.”