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Package holidays 'still offer something'

Despite research showing that package holidays are becoming less popular, they still have numerous benefits for holidaymakers, an industry expert has said.

Recent figures from Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) showed that the number of package holidays sold in the UK has steadily declined as more people opt for independent travel options.

However, a spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agents (ATOL), Sean Tipton, said that package holidays were not more expensive than other types of vacation and that they offered people more protection.

"One of the main reasons people tend to book independently â€" is that they assume it is cheaper … We always assume that [booking independently] will be cheaper," said Mr Tipton.

"That is not true. If you did some price comparisons - the prices are very similar and in many cases packages are cheaper."

Mr Tipton added that package holidays "really take over" when things go wrong.

"If your tour operator goes out of business when you are in Spain â€" if have booked it all yourself you have to get yourself home. You are stranded," he explained.

"If you book a package holiday and the airline goes bust then the tour operator has to get you home free of charge. That is their problem not yours."