20 Jul

A record 2.5 million head off overseas for the ‘Great Summer Getaway’

ABTA – The Travel Association estimates that a record 2.5 million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas for summer holidays this weekend (20 -22 July), which for the majority of schools in England and Wales marks the start of the summer break.

Summer temperatures around the Mediterranean hotspots popular with families are set to hit the 30s with guaranteed sunshine. Spain remains the number one destination for families but ABTA members are also reporting strong growth to Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia.

Overseas city breaks are always popular at this time of year for families looking to experience different cultures, cuisine and architecture. European cities are leading the way, in particular Barcelona, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam.

Domestic bookings are healthy, with travel agents and tour operators reporting demand to the South West of England and seaside resorts in particular.

Airports in the South East are expecting a very busy weekend with over 500,000 passengers expected to depart from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 148,000 from Stansted, 88,000 from Luton and 7,600 from Southend.

160,000 are due to depart from Manchester airport and 67,500 from Birmingham. Although the Scottish schools are well into their summer holidays, close to 200,000 will still be leaving from Scottish airports with 104,000 from Glasgow and 70,000 from Edinburgh.

Other regional airports, ports and the channel tunnel will also be extremely busy over the weekend with hundreds of thousands leaving the country.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said:

“This weekend is the start of the summer holidays for millions of school children and many  families will be flying out to guaranteed sunshine and the opportunity to experience and learn from different people and cultures. Popular destinations in the UK are also expected to welcome holidaymakers and enjoy the ongoing nice weather.

“The roads in the UK will very busy and families should leave a little extra time to get to their departure ports and check for engineering work if using public transport.”


For further information, contact:


Sean Tipton, Media Relations Manager, tel: 020 3117 0513

Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via pager: 07623 951 339

Web: www.abta.com

Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £37 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.