Teletext Holidays is to launch an online price index for sun holidays as it beefs up its web presence and shifts its focus away from analogue TV.
The Sunshine Price Index goes live on its main website teletextholidays.co.uk on Monday and coincides with the trend for holidaymakers to leave it later to book summer holidays this year.
It is thought to be the first index that offers typical holiday costs alongside the daily cost of living for holidaymakers in resort based on current exchange rates.
It follows news Teletext is shutting down its news and information services on its analogue and digital TV channels from January 2010 to focus on travel.
A decision has yet to be made on whether Teletext’s holiday service on analogue TV will also switch off in January instead of in 2012. Teletext Holidays will continue to broadcast on Freeview 101 and its sites teletextholidays.co.uk, thisistravel.co.uk and villarenters.co.uk will operate as normal.
Managing director Victoria Sanders said the new index will show typical prices across eleven destinations, including the UK, by tracking average prices across thousands of holidays from its travel agent and tour operator advertisers. The prices will link through to advertisers’ promotions.
The site will show costs for a week’s three-star holiday half-board and a week staying at a four-star all-inclusive resort and will give an average daily cost for holidaymakers in resort based on current exchange rates, including costs such as a meal out, cup of coffee, newspaper, postcards and ice-cream.
Sanders said: “It will be updated daily and holidaymakers can also calculate the spend for when they are there. The prices will link to holiday offers so it will benefit advertisers as well as consumers.”
Turkey comes up as best value in terms of holiday price and cost of living, while the UK is the cheapest holiday price but most expensive in terms of cost of living. Spain also comes out as good value.
Turkey’s average cost is £137 per person for a three-star half-board break, or £217 for an all-inclusive break, and cost of living is £61.25. Spain is £212 per person for a three-star holiday, £233 for all-inclusive, and £64.82 for cost of living. The UK’s average cost is £147 for a week in a holiday park, £125 for a week in a country cottage, but £71.33 for the cost of living.
Financial expert Alison Steed, who helped compile the index, said: “It’s easy for people to assume it’s cheaper to stay in the UK or that they should avoid the eurozone because the weakness of the pound makes it expensive, but it’s not necessarily true.”
Meanwhile, Teletext is set to revamp its main site with a better search facility and improved functionality. Teletextholidays.co.uk will have a new look and feel from the beginning of August.
Sanders added: “We are working with a technology partner to refine the searches on the website and getting the person to the right holiday. We have access to 50 million holidays a day. The cruise site will also have more functionality and refined searches.”