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You'll land better deal in DIY hols.

Byline: PAT HURST

IT works out much cheaper to book hotels and flights yourself rather than through a package deal,according to a new report.

Seven out of 10 holidays are cheaper if you book it yourself and customers can save an average of 26pc. But most don't bother booking the holiday themselves because of the ``hassle'' factor, it is claimed.

The report by City investment bank Goldman Sachs means holidaymakers could be wasting millions of pounds by booking through high street travel agents.

The report was based on a pricing survey by Goldman Sachs to compare costs and look how easy it is to ``depackage'' your holiday.

They booked various package deals with high street holiday firms to get prices then compared them with phoning the hotel and arranging the flight independently.

It claims in 70pc of cases it was cheaper to book your flights and hotel separately rather than opt for a ready-made package trip and the average saving was 26pc.

In one case a trip for two to La Manga in Spain cost pounds 785 through the package tour operator MyTravel but just pounds 349.80 when flights were booked through Ryanair and the internet siteHotels.com,a saving of 55.4pc.Another example cited was a twin room for seven nights booked through Thomson in Mallorca costing pounds 684,but when booked ``DIY'' through hotels. com it cost just pounds 348.

Growing on line bookings and the rise of low cost airlines could lead to the death of package tour companies, the report warns.

The ``hassle'' factor was also likely to reduce as it became easier to book online, the report said.

The report concludes: ``The raison d' et re of a package holiday company is that it should be cheaper to book a package rather than doing it yourself.

``However,in 70pc of cases we found that it was cheaper to book your own separately. ``We found that on average we could gain a 26pc discount to brochure price by booking the holiday ourselves. We appreciate that many packages contain ``extras'' in addition to a hotel and flight (coach transfers, etc); however, we believe the relative discrepancy is quite compelling.

``It indicates that the package holiday industry is potentially in terminal decline,especially with more single people,as opposed to families,going on holiday,increased on line bookings and the rise of the low-cost airline industry.''
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 15, 2003
Words:401
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