One in five people (19%) are planning to take a winter holiday this year, with one in five (21%) still undecided, according to new research from ABTA.
Among those planning a break, winter sun remains the most popular type of holiday but city breaks and ski holidays have both increased in popularity, according to the research.
Two in five (40%) of those planning a holiday said they will be heading for some winter sun, with this type of break being most popular with older age groups, with six in ten (59%) of 55-64 year-olds taking a winter sun holiday.
The Canary Islands are this year’s favourite destination for winter sun seekers, who will also be heading to the southern Mediterranean, particularly Greece, Malta and Tunisia.
Further afield, the beaches of the Caribbean and Mexico make for popular long-haul escapes, while Dubai remains popular with families.
The research also found that winter city breaks have seen a jump in po
pularity with four in ten (39%) of those taking a winter holiday planning a city break this year compared to just under a third (31%) in 2012. The increase is being driven by younger holidaymakers; almost half (48%) of under 35-year-olds planning a winter holiday are taking a winter city break this year compared to a third (33%) in 2012.
Victoria Bacon, head of communications at the association, said: “Winter can be a great time for a holiday as there’s no other season where such a range of holidays are so easily available to British holidaymakers. It’s no wonder that taking a break at this time of year is consistently popular whether people are seeking sun, snow or a city break.”
Combining a city break with a Christmas market has also become increasingly popular, with favourite European destinations including Frankfurt, Paris and Vienna, while the outdoor markets in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh are also popular.
Meanwhile, following excellent snow conditions across Europe last year, winter sports holidays have seen a boost in popularity, with 15% of those taking a winter holiday incorporating sport compared to 10% last year.
Members of the association are also reporting demand for resorts that offer additional activities, with winter sports enthusiasts keen to do more off the slopes such as yoga, spa treatments and cookery classes.