The Scottish school holidays begin this weekend, kicking off the peak summer season in the UK. ABTA has estimated that approximately 150,000 Scottish holidaymakers will leave the country over the next couple of days in search of relaxation, quality time with loved ones, time out from the recession, and some summer sun.
While a great deal has been made this year of the ‘staycation’, ABTA Members in Scotland have reported a rise in sales to other parts of the UK, with trips to London and breaks to holiday parks in England doing well. However, holidays further afield are also holding their own and still proving to be extremely popular.
Despite Sterling’s struggle with the Euro, and a decline in overall visitors, Spain will still be the number one destination for holidaymakers, with Mallorca and the Canary Islands the most popular regions, and the Algarve in Portugal selling strongly.
Meanwhile, Turkey and Egypt have been the run away winners this year, and with direct flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, their popularity has resulted in strong growth as both are outside the Eurozone and offer great value for money with high quality accommodation.
Scottish travellers are also taking advantage of the good deals to travel long haul. Direct flights to Dubai with the airline Emirates has also meant holidays to the Middle East and beyond have become more accessible with Scottish people able to use Dubai as a short break destination before they jet off to the Far East or destinations such as South Africa or the Maldives. Many Scottish travellers are also using New York as a good way to connect to other destinations in the States.
Cruising has also been popular for this summer with many flying to pick up a ship in Barcelona for a Mediterranean cruise, Miami for trips around the Caribbean islands, while others are much happier to fly, use the train or even coach to sail from Southampton.
Roddie McPhee, from Stewart Travel and Chairman of ABTA Scotland said: “There are deals around for those who have left it late – I have seen some good prices for Bulgaria - but travellers will have to be flexible as they will only be available on selected areas and flights.
“The recession has been tough for everyone, but at the end of the day, we all need a holiday. ABTA is urging everyone to enjoy their summer, but to make sure that they don’t cut corners on important aspects of the holiday such as travel insurance and to make sure that your holiday arrangements are financially protected. If you’re not sure, ask your travel agent.”