As the majority of English schools break up this Friday, this weekend is one of the major getaway weekends for the year. With the great British weather proving as unpredictable as ever ABTA estimates that 1.9 million of us will be heading overseas this weekend 23-26 July.
Traffic through the main airports will be very busy with 440,000 leaving from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 139,000 from Stansted, 150,00 from Manchester, 65,000 from Birmingham, 65,000 from Luton and 33,000 from East Midlands. 127,000 will leave from the main Scottish airports, Edinburgh and Glasgow. In addition hundreds of thousands will be heading out through regional airports and over or under the channel.
Top destinations for short haul include Turkey, Greece, Egypt, the Canary and Balearic islands and mainland Spain. Long haul destinations Dubai and Florida are also popular.
The pound offers better value against the Euro than last year and if you haven’t booked yet there is still availability and excellent deals on offer in our traditional Eurozone favourites. The recession has also caused many restaurants and bars in the Eurozone to lower their prices, making days and nights out that bit cheaper.
Spain is still our number one destination with the Balearic Islands selling well. Turkey and Egypt have seen significant growth and the USA has performed better than many of its competitors. All inclusive holidays are proving especially popular with families looking to control budgets.
John McEwan, ABTA Chairman said: “I am delighted to see hundreds of thousands of us heading overseas this weekend, the traditional curtain raiser to the summer season. With prices having fallen in the Eurozone and an improved exchange rate on last year, holidaymakers will get a pleasant surprise when they arrive in resort and head for local restaurants and bars”
Ascent-MI Leisure Travel Monitor is uniquely designed by Ascent –MI Ltd for the ex-UK leisure market and is created in partnership with the UK travel industry providing forward booking market intelligence for travel bookings made through both the high street and direct channels (web and call centres).