Package holiday

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A package holiday or package tour consists of transport and accommodation advertised and sold together by a vendor known as a tour operator. Other services may be provided like a hire car, activities or outings during the holiday. Transport is typically a charter flight to a foreign country.

Package holidays are organised by a tour operator and sold to a consumer by a travel agent. Some travel agents are owned by tour operators, others are independent.

The first package tour was organised by Thomas Cook who, on 5 July 1841 chartered a train to take a group of temperance campaigners from Leicester to a rally in Loughborough, twenty miles away.

In the 1970s, new, cheap package holiday provided the first chance for most people in the United Kingdom to be able to travel abroad. There was a marked decline in visits to British seaside resorts.

Recently a growing number of consumers are avoiding package holidays and instead are travelling with budget airlines and booking their own accommodation.

The latest trend in package holidays is dynamic packaging, consumers are able to build their own package of flights, accommodation and a hire car instead of a pre-defined package.

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