ABTA – The Travel Association estimates that 1.8 million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas during the August Bank Holiday (23-26 August).
Spain remains the number one destination for British holidaymakers, particularly the Balearic and Canary Islands, the Spanish city of Barcelona is also proving popular for a bank holiday city break. France, the Greek Islands and Turkey are also attracting holidaymakers looking to round off the summer holidays abroad. Other top city break destinations include Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Dublin and New York.
With reports that the heatwave is set to return over the Bank Holiday, domestic tour operators are seeing demand in UK holiday hotspots including the South Coast and South West. The good weather is also boosting visitor numbers to the Channel Islands. For UK city breaks, London is a popular choice with events including the Notting Hill Carnival taking place over the weekend and lots of visitors will be heading to Edinburgh for the final week of the festival.
Airports in the South East are expecting a very busy weekend with 425,000* passengers departing from Heathrow, 255,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 from Stansted, 70,000 from Luton and 15,000 from Southend.
160,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 69,000 from Birmingham, 35,000 from Newcastle, 47,000 from Bristol and 30,000 from Leeds Bradford International. Over 160,000 will also be leaving from Scottish airports.
Hundreds of thousands will also be leaving the country from other regional airports, ports and the channel tunnel. Eurostar, which has added extra services to Paris to help meet the increased demand, will be extremely busy with 60,000 Brits set to enjoy a late summer break.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “The bank holiday weekend is always one of the busiest of the year as we see holidaymakers jetting off to enjoy the end of their summer breaks. The return of the good weather here in the UK will also provide another boost for domestic tourism.”
*Estimate based on 2012 figures