New research by holiday protection scheme ATOL has found that more than 120,000 people in the south west, including tens of thousands from Dorset, are set to book their holiday this week, as December’s wintry weather accelerates the holiday booking period.

Other key drivers for these consumers booking a holiday before December is out include ‘staying organised’ (18 per cent) and ‘grabbing a bargain early’ (13 per cent) has led to this spike in booking.

The most popular holiday destinations for people in the region include Spain, USA, Italy Greece and Portugal.

Despite the weakness of the pound driving up costs, the latest data has found that the popularity of the USA is stronger than ever with a million more people looking to travel across the pond in 2018 than 2017.

The research found that when it comes to booking holidays, top priorities for consumers include guaranteed sunshine, a nearby beach and even access to British TV channels.