But here, too, the cold fingers of austerity are set to reach. It would seem logical to expect many more families to book holidays at home this year to spare the household budget. Unfortunately, the reason overseas holidays are so popular is that they are generally cheaper than ones taken at home.
And there’s another reason that counts against a Scottish break. In the long dark shivering days of winter, and when the news bulletins have been full of stories of wind-damaged high streets, a holiday in Scotland does not exactly offer the assurance of sun and warm siesta that so many are longing for. Nevertheless, despite the cutback on household budgets, holiday bookings are still expected to rise over the coming week, culminating in “Blue Monday” (16 January) – deemed to be the most depressing day of the year – or at least until the big depression peak in February and March angst.
The grimmer our economic state, the greater the desire to escape from it all, but what we are likely to see this year is lots more late booking, possibly right up until a few days before. If times are that tough, is it not likely the holiday companies will be offering more last minute come-ons than ever?