Great Britain: A Nation of Sun Seekers

                    Great Britain: A Nation of Sun Seekers

  PR Newswire

  LONDON, January 23, 2013

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 19 ^th 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

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

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

    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, 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.

Contact: Andy Cockburn, +44(0)1582-645417
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