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    Gerald
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        • Practcally Cretan
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        Member since: 17th September 2006

        Self Catering Apartments – Growth in Crete Could Be Phenomenal

        If you operate apartments or larger accommodation in Crete consider this fact: Cash strapped Britons are opting more for self catering holidays. Spain does not have to be the only attractive destination…

        An article in the latest edition of http://www.TTGLive.Com online magazine illustrates the point in the growth in the Mediterranean and beyond.

        "DIY: Including the Kitchen Sink ….."

        For many clients, self-catering apartments and villas can help stretch a holiday budget further than hotels.  Peter Ellegard talks to accommodation-only suppliers about the state of play in this thriving sector [ch8232][ch8232]With holiday costs increasingly under scrutiny by cash-strapped Brits, self-catering apartments and villas booked as part of a DIY deal are fast becoming a preferred option to packaged holidays in hotels. All-inclusive may be the current buzz phrase, but accommodation-only providers say they are also seeing a big move towards cook-it-yourself breaks in many of the top holiday destinations.

        [ch8232][ch8232]Lowcostbeds sales director Tim Buckman says around 30% of bookings are for self-catering accommodation, up 5% on last year. Favourite locations are Tenerife, Lanzarote, Majorca, the Costa Blanca and the Algarve, with strongest rises for Crete (100% up year on year), the Algarve (up 75%), Majorca (up 65%) and Turkey (up 50%).[ch8232][ch8232]Buckman cites key reasons for the increase as costs and flexibility, particularly for families. He says the company has increased product in key areas such as the Balearics, Canaries, mainland Spain, Turkey and Greece “to cater for those wanting a value for money holiday but not wanting to spend the money on an all-inclusive option”.

        Lowcostbeds’ lead-in prices include the Grand Villa Sol Apartments in Turkey’s Marmaris from £26 per room, and the Club Cala d’Or Park Apartments in Cala d’Or, Majorca, from £133 – both for seven nights in May, based on four sharing. [ch8232][ch8232]

        At Somewhere2stay, product manager Jill Marshall says the Algarve, Menorca and Majorca remain the best-selling villa and self-catering destinations. “Self-catering sales for the Algarve alone are showing year-on-year increases for summer 2010 of 32%, while hotel bookings are more or less on par. This could indicate that in certain destinations, due to the current climate, self-catering is coming out on top for those who can’t or don’t wish  to go the extra mile and book a hotel on  all-inclusive or otherwise,” she says. [ch8232][ch8232]Marshall says while destinations such as Majorca are seeing more all-inclusive offerings, self-catering options are also increasing.  She adds: “We have villas in Majorca this year priced at just £149 per villa per week which, based on four sharing, equates to £37.25 per person per week.  “These rates offer families excellent value for money in these cash-strapped times.” The three-bedroom Villa Ocean in Gale on the Algarve works out even cheaper, leading in at £239 per week, or £30 per person based on the maximum eight sharing.  Villa clients have a representative to meet them on arrival and give them a 24-hour emergency number, says Marshall.  

        [ch8232][ch8232][ch8232]Booming hotspots [ch8232]

        The Algarve is one of Youtravel’s top self-catering destinations, according to national sales manager Liz Garfield. She says sales there are up 140% year-on-year for summer 2010, with other hotspots being Gran  Canaria (up 30%), Tenerife (up 25%) and Fuerteventura (up a massive 150% thanks  to added flight capacity) in the Canaries, as well as Majorca and mainland Spain. “We have added a number of self-catering properties for this winter and summer 2010 as purse strings tighten and some people opt for cheaper accommodation,” she says.  “The abundance of flights to these destinations is also key to finding the most competitive pricing.” She adds: “Bars and restaurants overseas are offering special deals on meals to  compete with the all-inclusive hotels.” [ch8232]

        [ch8232]Rising demand[ch8232]

        According to HotelConnect’s Maretta Moriarty, only a small proportion of their product is apartments, but it is being  increased due to demand.  “We are increasing apart-hotel offerings in key European cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona and Prague,” she says.  “We’re finding agents are welcoming the opportunity to offer customers an option which can significantly decrease the cost of their stay while not impacting on comfort.”  “Guests have the flexibility and space of an apartment (and cost-saving possibilities of cooking some meals) but many apartments also offer the service and facilities of a hotel – the perfect combination.” A studio room at the four-star Residhome Appart-Hotel Paris Opera costs from £100 per night room-only for two people in March.  [ch8232]

        Compare hotel prices and find the best deal - HotelsCombined.com
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