Winter blues give Barrhead Travel a boost

SCOTLAND’S winter washout triggered a stampede of customers to Barrhead Travel, with sales soaring 29 per cent in the first quarter.

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The firm said the year-on-year rise included a 40 per cent jump in bookings to long-haul destinations, while cruise bookings had “increased considerably”.

Barrhead – the country’s largest indigenous travel agency with more than 50 branches – said yesterday that 2014 was shaping up to be the “summer of sun for many Scots”.

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Chief executive Sharon Munro said: “Scottish holidaymakers have been flocking in their droves to book a summer getaway following the poor weather over the winters.

“January to March is always a busy time for us, however, this year we’ve enjoyed an exceptional response from travellers looking to jet off.”

She said the firm’s charter flights had been a “huge success” since they were launched four years ago. There has also been a surge in UK-based “staycation” breaks.