Claims of a surge in holiday bookings triggered by England crashing out of the World Cup have been exaggerated, according to travel bosses.

Companies such as Travel Republic, Ryanair and Lowcostholidays.co.uk reported a rise in interest this week as England fans sought solace in a last-minute holiday.

However, claims that any upsurge was linked to the football have been challenged.

Julie Lo Bue-Said, Advantage director of leisure, said there had been an upturn the week before the England team’s exit from the tournament.

This she put down to the approach of the school holidays.

“We have not seen a massive surge. I don’t think the World Cup has had a fundamental impact,” she said.

“Things are still tough – agents are having to work harder than ever to get the same level of business.”

Advantage has launched a radio campaign for the lates market, driving consumers to loveyourtravelagent.co.uk.

Chief executive John McEwan was interviewed by 23 local radio stations last week talking about the market and consumer research conducted by the consortium.

On The Beach commercial director Johnny Pollard said sales rocketed 35% last week year-on-year, again before England’s exit.

“Late bookings were taking off before England went out,” he said.

Holiday Discount Centre managing director Steve Campion said: “Sales have picked up dramatically since the weekend.

“But, in reality, they would normally improve this week. Sales rose 25% week-on-week in the same period last year.

“There has been pent-up demand because of the ash cloud.

“The fact that people are still booking during the good weather is a sign that the market is recovering.”