Barrhead Travel has reported its best summer departures to date at 56% higher than last year and 26% higher compared with 2019 figures, its last record-breaking year.

The agent said that “industry levels have returned to normal” following the pandemic, with the firm reporting seven consecutive record-breaking months since the beginning of 2023.

It said holidaymakers are going to travel agents to take advantage of last-minute getaway deals, with one-third of new bookings continuing to be for this summer season. The most popular last-minute destinations include Mallorca, Dalaman, Costa Blanca, Tenerife, Antalya and Costa del Sol.

More widely, bookings for cruise holidays with Barrhead are up 69% in comparison to pre-pandemic 2019, with an increase of 104% on luxury cruising.

READ MORE: Agent sees holiday ‘stampede’ with all-inclusive holidays

Barrhead Travel also noted that more customers looking for authentic experiences, with touring and adventure holidays up 80% on 2019.

All-inclusive packages remain the number one choice, making up a quarter of bookings, which it said is the “perfect getaway for those looking to manage spending when away”.

The travel agency group said that durations have also been on the rise this summer with more than 60% of trips booked for 10 nights or longer, indicating that families were maximising the school summer break.

Jacqueline Dobson, president at Barrhead Travel, said: “This year, we’ve really seen a boom in bookings as people look to make up for lost holidays. People are eager to get away to spend quality time with their families and the value-for-money provided by all-inclusive resorts and cruise holidays has been fantastic. 

“Consistently over the past few months, around one-third of our new bookings have been for summer 2023 getaways. Last week, we witnessed a significant surge in last-minute bookings for departure in August, up 36% compared with the same period last year."

She also said: "It's a  clear indication that people are keen to make the most of the last few weeks of summer holidays - and escape some of the wet weather we have been seeing in the UK.

“We are likely to record this summer as our biggest ever – if you are still to book, we would recommend doing so sooner rather than later to secure preferred dates and locations. Booking with a reputable travel agent, such as Barrhead Travel, will guarantee the best prices and full financial protection.”

Scottish dental practice sold

A Glasgow dental practice established in 1952 has been sold for the first time since 1994.

L.C. Milton BDS on Barrhead Road in Crookston, a principal-led National Health Service dental practice, has been sold for an undisclosed sum by Lindsay Milton to Paul MacDonald, a first-time buyer and experienced associate.

The sale was conducted by property agency Christie & Co. Mr Milton purchased the practice in 1994 as a single-surgery site.