22 Jul

2.3 million head abroad for the Great School Holiday Getaway

ABTA is estimating that 2.3 million people will be heading abroad this weekend (22- 24 July), as the majority of schools break up for the summer holidays. The Western Mediterranean is the most popular destination for British holidaymakers heading overseas.

Airports across the country are reporting high numbers departing this weekend, with some airports in the South East seeing an almost 7% increase in travellers over the entire summer holiday period. 530,000 people will be leaving from Heathrow, 350,000 from Gatwick, 128,000 from Stansted and 80,000 from Luton.

Across the country, 60,000 are expected to fly from Birmingham, 55,000 from Newcastle and 15,000 from Cardiff. The Eurostar, ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel are also expecting a busy weekend.

The Western Mediterranean is set to be the most popular destination for holidaymakers this summer, with significant increases in bookings* to certain destinations including Portugal (23% increase year on year), Spain (22%) and Cyprus (16%). Greece continues to be popular with bookings for summer up 5% year on year.

Long haul destinations, including the USA and Mexico, have also performed well, with Florida remaining a top summer family destination, Gatwick Airport is reporting an 19% increase in long haul destinations. City breaks across Europe are also proving popular.

Following a drop in the value of the pound, staycations have also seen a boost with ABTA Members reporting an increase in bookings made in the weeks since the Referendum. The traditional beach break is leading the way for domestic holidaymakers with Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands seeing strong sales.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said “This weekend is one of the busiest in the travel calendar, with millions heading away for the start of the school summer holidays. While most of the those heading away will have booked some time ago, those looking for last minute deals should always book with an ABTA Member so they can travel with confidence.”