Long-haul specialist Southall Travel is claiming a hike in bookings by almost a third in January over the same peak period booking month last year.

New York and Malaysia led the bookings surge as the company recorded a 30% year-on-year increase.

Sales of trips to New York were up by 125%, while those to Malaysia doubled.

Other destinations showing growth in sales were Thailand (up 41%), Dubai (up 33%) and India (up 11%).

However, Dubai was the most popular long-haul beach destination for bookings in January, followed by the Maldives, Thailand, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

Dubai was also the most popular city break destination, ahead of Las Vegas.

Bangkok, New York and Abu Dhabi completed the list of the top five most popular city break destinations.

Company managing director, Kuljinder Bahia, said: “January is always a busy month for the travel industry but we have seen a massive boost in bookings this year.

“Our booking data suggests the Middle East is going to have a very successful year with Dubai and Abu Dhabi attracting both city breakers and beach holidaymakers.”