DAVID Sankey (pictured right), director of marketing for Consort Hotels, was in relaxed mood last week at the launch of the consortium's 1994 short breaks brochure.

The reason was that sales of Consort's short breaks last year soared by an impressive 132%, thanks mainly to the decision to brand the programme for the first time. Total business from Consort's Freedom Breaks amounted to at least £3m.

And in the first three months of this year there have been 14,000 special requests for the 1994 brochure - up 530% on the same period last year - largely as a result of direct-sell promotions and a small amount of advertising.

Last year's only low point was the poor take-up of rail-inclusive breaks, which have now been dropped. Research shows that nearly 80% of short-break holiday-makers use a car.

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