New year holiday sales have got off to a flying start with some operators reporting a resurgence in package holidays.

Tour operators reported higher-than-expected sales volumes last week, despite the fact it was a short trading week because of the New Year’s Day bank holiday.

Cosmos, Avro and Somewhere2stay,com, all part of the Monarch Travel Group, enjoyed their best sales since August 2011.

Hugh Morgan, group managing director, said: “I’ve never seen the peak season kick in so fast. Last week we had the best sales in a week since August 7 2011 when Holidays4U went bust.”

Morgan said package holiday sales were selling particularly well, with Spain, Tunisia and Greece the most popular. “It was dynamic packages that were selling before, but last week was one of the best for package holidays for ages.”

Travel 2 reported sales 11% up last week on the same week last year and 38% up for Monday, January 7, compared to the equivalent day last year.

Sales and marketing manager Gordon McCreadie said: “It’s the most optimistic I’ve seen retailers in five years. Consumers want something to look forward to.”

Travel 2 put its success down to its own increased marketing activity, positive media coverage about travel and the wet weather.

Earlier this week Tui Travel chief executive Peter Long also described package holidays as experiencing a renaissance in 2012, telling the Daily Telegraph that over half of the company’s mainstream business was now all-inclusive.

He said Brits were safeguarding their holiday abroad to escape the drudgery of long working hours, falling real incomes and pitiful weather back home.