Grand UK Holidays has introduced UK Christmas markets to its 2009/10 winter programme for the first time.

The operator, which specialises in the over-55s market, is now offering a total of 10 domestic markets in cities including Manchester, Nottingham, York and Birmingham.

Sales director Harold Burke said with the economy and pricing still a concern, it is hoped the new UK offering will prove popular with consumers unwilling to visit the eurozone.

He added: “Our festive programme has grown greatly over recent years, and last Christmas we took away record numbers.

“Our holiday to Norfolk’s immensely popular Thursford Christmas spectacular is one of the highlights of the new domestic additions.

“We’ve also introduced ‘Credit Crunch Christmas Crackers’ at holiday villages in the UK, so customers can feel festive without splashing too much cash.”