Here is the monthly update from Peter McAree, Commercial Director of Auto Europe UK:According to experts, Monday 19th January was the most depressing day in history
. This month is often gloomy but apparently the effects of the economic downturn make 2009 worse than ever.The next 12 months are certainly likely to pose many challenges - not least for the travel industry - and staying positive can be one of them. But there's still plenty to look forward to throughout the coming year, with some interesting new travel trends predicted.Market research shows that the majority of families are still determined to have at least one holiday this year, despite shrinking budgets. Value for money and added value will be key phrases for tour operators, most of which will be competing to offer punters the most attractive deals.According to a report by ABTA and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
the unfavourable euro rate is likely to encourage even more of us to opt for more adventurous, non-Eurozone destinations such as Egypt, South Africa and Mexico that offer good value, great beaches and rich cultural experience.The U.S. recession undoubtedly impacts the travel industry worldwide, so it's important to keep an eye on trends being noted across the pond too. A survey by Travel Leaders
conducted across the United States claims that 22.1% of holidaymakers are now choosing to drive instead of flying to cut costs, while nearly 41% are saving money with shorter trips.If you're thinking of booking your holiday soon, do bear in mind that car hire
can really help to keep costs down, especially if you are travelling as part of a group, and it gives you the freedom to go where and when you like. Also remember that if you book with us
you'll be able to change or even cancel your booking without incurring any costs right up until 48 hours prior to the planned collection time.One trend I've noticed in the last few weeks is a rise in last-minute car hire bookings. It seems that lots of people are booking spontaneous trips to escape the winter blues. Check out Auto Europe's special offers for destinations worldwide (updated regularly on the website) if you're tempted to do the same.