The additional post-Easter bank holiday due to the Royal Wedding is prompting a surge in holiday bookings, according to Expedia.


The online travel giant claims bookings are up by 80% for the period as people take advantage of getting 11 days off for the price of three between Good Friday (April 22) and the May Day bank holiday (May 2).


With thousands of tourists flocking in, UK travellers are celebrating elsewhere with Las Vegas the destination of choice.


British travellers are also heading to cultural capitals such as New York, Paris and Rome. For those seeking a longer break, Sydney, Dubai and Bangkok are among the most popular.


Expedia.co.uk spokesman Andrew Warner said: “The Royal Wedding is proving a welcome stimulus for the travel industry and we have seen a significant increase in bookings from travellers seeking to watch the spectacle. 


“At the same time large numbers of our UK customers have been keen to take advantage of the extra bank holiday and are booking trips further afield than is commonplace in April.
 
“In response to this demand, Expedia has launched a dedicated Royal Wedding travel page featuring both deals to London and getaway options for those simply seeking to take advantage of the fact that, with the extra holiday, taking three days off work can mean an 11 day break.”


The company believes Royal Wedding will be the biggest tourist event of 2011 with a 266% rise in bookings to London for the period around the April 29 ceremony.


Three times more Americans have booked hotels for the nuptials than British travellers.


Many ‘value for money’ hotels are being booked up even if it means a compromise on location as tourists watch their budgets.


At an average price of £140 a night, the three-star Days Inn hotel in Hyde Park is a booking hotspot, as well as Holiday Inn Limehouse and Novotel City South in Southwark.