Record 2.3m Seek Easter Sun
April 17th, 2006
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) estimates a record 2.3 million British holidaymakers set to leave the country in a scramble for the sun.
Relentlessly cold temperatures here in the UK and a late Easter has fuelled demand for warmer destinations and also means that many of the Mediterranean resorts will be open, even though the summer season has not yet started.
Spain is the outright favourite country for this weekend, with the Canary Islands and Tenerife in particular, the most popular. The weather there promises to be sensational, with temperatures firmly remaining in the 20s. Mallorca is also very popular, followed by the Costas particularly del Sol and Blanca. Many people also head over to Spain to visit their holiday homes.
The Caribbean is also great in April and Barbados, Cuba and the Dominican Republic are also in demand this Easter. But before the European beach season really gets into full swing, now is also a peak time for city breaks and the top five this year will be Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome and Venice.
Martin Wellings, ABTA President said: “Although Easter is always a busy time of year for the travel industry, there seems to be a real pent up demand this year, that we’ve been able to fulfil. It promises to be a very busy weekend.”
Last year over 2.2 million people flew abroad for Easter.
The scramble begins…
Over one million passengers alone were set to leave the country through BAA airports this Easter, while from the South East just under half a million leaving from Heathrow, approximately 262,000 leaving from Gatwick, 172,350 from Stansted and 60,000 departing from Luton. Manchester airport expected 220,000 passengers.
Other regional airports and ferry terminals were also set to be extremely busy over the weekend, with at least another 80,000 leaving by Eurostar.
Many more also make the most of the weekend by venturing closer to home with UK beach resorts and countryside being busy. ABTA Members selling UK holidays have reported that bookings have been up substantially over the last few weeks.
According to VisitBritain, 23% of the UK adult population plan a trip inclusive of Easter, representing a 2% increase on last year. More than twice as many (60%) plan an overnight trip in England during this period, compared to going abroad (27%).
Story from the move channel