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Great Britain: A Nation of Sun Seekers

LONDON, January 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Thomson Launches First Ever Sunshine Index to Help Brits Escape to the sun

After the UK faced the second wettest year on record in 2012, new research released today by Thomson reveals that many Brits are already concerned that 2013 will be the same, if not worse, with half (52%) believing that British summers are getting worse each year. This has led to a surge in holiday hunting on the Thomson website this month as 11.2 million consumers have searched for holidays. Saturday 19th January was predicted to be the busiest day for holiday bookings in Thomson stores as customers look to escape the weather for warmer climes.

The research showed that over a third (37%) of holidaymakers admit their main reason for travelling abroad is to enjoy sunshine which they can't be certain of getting in the UK. So much so, that almost half of Brits (45%) go online daily in the lead up to their holiday to get excited about how warm it'll be on arrival.  In response to this growing fixation, and to help consumers increase their chances of sunshine, Thomson has created the first ever Sunshine Index, designed to provide sun-seekers with information on holiday destinations that experience the most hours of sunshine per year.

Topping the list* of sun spots is Fuerteventura, eleven hours of sunshine daily throughout Summer and not much less throughout the other seasons. Cyprus and Southern Spain follow closely behind each enjoying an average eight and a half hours of sunshine each day. The Sunshine Index will be particularly useful for holidaymakers jetting off outside of the peak season, as it includes a breakdown of hours of sunshine per season. For example, it shows that Canaries is great for winter sun whilst Greece, Portugal and Turkey all make excellent sunny getaway destinations for spring.

Ian Chapman, Director of Holiday Experience at Thomson comments: "January is traditionally one of the most depressing times of the year and when the weather is bad, many people want a sunshine break to look forward to.  Year after year we continue to see more people book early so they know they have at least a week away in warmer climes. At Thomson, we are committed to giving our customers what they want, that's why we've produced a Sunshine Index, which shows the destinations that have the most sunshine hours as well as average temperatures."

With more than a quarter of Brits (26%) admitting that good weather is the most important factor in contributing to their holiday happiness and almost half (48%) claiming that bad weather makes them feel sad and depressed, it is clear that the lack of sunshine in the UK is having a negative effect on the nation's mood.

GP, Dr Rob Hicks explains "The weather impacts many parts of life; behaviours as well as emotions are affected. We feel happier when the sun is shining and tend to get out and about much more. Thomson's research shows that more than two thirds (68%) of people go out less often in bad weather and 14% let friends and family down by cancelling plans. More than a third (34%) say they can't be bothered to get up in the morning and, startlingly, almost one in every twenty (4%) doesn't go into work as they can't face the journey."

"Vitamin D, made in the skin in response to sunlight, is hugely important for health and well-being. With there being no guarantee of good weather here in the UK during the summer, a holiday abroad is an increasingly attractive way to get guaranteed sunshine and lift your spirits."

To find out which destinations provide the most sunshine hours, view the Sunshine Index at http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/weather.pdf

Research commissioned by Thomson of 2,000 UK citizens was conducted in November - December 2012 by OnePoll

  • Other interesting statistics from the research include:26% say the weather is the most important factor contributing to holiday happiness compared to good food (13%) and even good accommodation (20%).
  • 15% say they couldn't make it through the year without a sunny holiday
  • 79% of the optimists who have attempted a summer holiday in Britain experienced miserable weather while doing so.
  • While 45% go online daily in the lead up to their holiday to get excited about how warm it'll be, of those, 13% start checking the weather every day a full month before their departure date
  • It's fortunate that we can rely on good weather abroad - 15% say bad weather abroad would ruin their holiday, a further 10% would sulk and 4% would go to the extreme of flying home early.
  • *Average hours of sunshine per season - Southern Europe
                                                                 Overall
    Country/region/island Winter    Spring   Summer    Autumn    average
    Fuerteventura         8.75      11       13        10.5      10.8
    Tenerife              8         9.5      10        9.5       9.25
    Cyprus                5.75      8.5      12        10        9
    Southern Spain        6         11       11-12     5-6       8.5
    Lanzarote             7         8        10.5      7.5       8
    Malta                 4-6       10       11        6         8
    Southern France       5         8        11        7.5       8
    Greece                4-5       10-11    10        4-5       7
    Italy                 3-4       7-10     10-11     6         7
    Portugal              5-6       10       9         5         7
    Turkey                2-3       9        11-12     4         6.75
    Croatia               3         6        9         5         5.75
    Czech Republic        3         7        7         3         5


Data taken from the Met Office and climate and weather databases including:


THOMSON

Thomson, part of TUI UK & Ireland, is one of the UK's most well-known holiday brands, delivering unique and modern holiday experiences for its customers every year.

In 2013, 90% of hotels in the Thomson brochure will be exclusive to Thomson and these properties continue to be popular among our customers.

Flagship properties include; four Sensatori hotels in Crete, Tenerife, Mexico and Egypt with another planned to open in Turkey in 2013 - these hotels give customers a luxury holiday experience, featuring world class spas and gourmet dining; Thomson Couples resorts offering stylish hotels in beach front locations exclusively for adults with a real contemporary feel and Thomson Family Resorts which have been designed for families with younger children, featuring excellent kids clubs giving parents a care-free, relaxing holiday.

Thomson is the sister company of First Choice and uses Thomson Airways as its carrier to take over 5.5million people on holiday each year.

TUI UK & Ireland is part of the TUI Travel PLC Group.


SOURCE TUI PLC

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