A late surge in bookings for foreign holidays has brought a Christmas bonus for some travel agents in the UK. Companies have been hit by a sharp downturn in the tourist industry in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States. But there are signs of a return to business as normal as holidaymakers prepare to take to the skies over Christmas and New Year. At Thomas Cook, PR manager Nick O'Donnell said sales were 2% up on last year for the Christmas and New Year period to about 400'000. Up to one million Britons are expected to fly “A lot of people are talking about 11 September, but there is also talk about recession,” he said. “It is making people book a lot later, both for Christmas and New Year and the rest of the winter season.” The Canary Islands remain the most popular destination, but the surge of late bookings has also seen a run on holidays to Florida in the United States.

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