ABTA estimates 2 million British holidaymakers are set to head off overseas for the Easter weekend of 21-26 April.Many savvy travellers realised that by booking three days leave they could have an eleven day break from work. This has boosted bookings into the following week and the Royal Wedding weekend will also see substantial numbers heading off.
Spain is still the UK’s favourite foreign holiday destination, with the Canary Islands and the Costa del Sol the most popular areas. For those looking for last minute bargains Egypt and Tunisia offer excellent deals with temperatures in the late twenties and guaranteed sunshine.
Further afield, families are flocking to Florida to sample some of the world’s best theme parks while others are enjoying excellent holiday prices in Dubai.
Foreign city beaks are popular at this time of the year with the weather being comfortable and the crowds manageable. Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam. Rome and New York are the top five choices. London is top for UK breaks with thousands heading to the capital to join in with the royal wedding celebrations.
The weather over Easter is set to be sunny in most parts of the country and the seaside resorts of Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton are looking at a bumper period. Edinburgh and Manchester lead the way for city breaks and bookings are strong for cottages in Cornwall, East Anglia and the North of England.
ABTA Members are reporting very strong bookings for the Channel Islands and Isles of Man and Wight. Airports are reporting good numbers and 600,000 will leave from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 160,000 from Stansted and 60,000 from Luton.A further 14,000 will depart from Southampton.
From Scotland over 150,000 will be leaving via the airports with 50,000 from Glasgow, 75,000 from Edinburgh and 28,000 from Aberdeen. From the North and the Midlands, 125,000 will leave from Manchester and 65,000 from Birmingham. Other regional airports and ferry terminals will also be extremely busy over the weekend and Eurostar is reporting good passenger numbers with 65,000 leaving the country this way.
John McEwan ABTA Chairman said: “Easter is the traditional curtain raiser to the summer and the Royal Wedding bank holiday has given a special boost to bookings. I am delighted to see that so many of our customers are taking advantage of the extra days off either heading off overseas or taking a break closer to home.”