This Christmas will see 4.25 million Brits heading overseas to escape the cold and stresses of the festive season, according to figures from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
The projected figure refers to trips to be made by UK travellers between 16 December and 3 January and marks an increase on the 4 million travellers who left British shores for a Christmas break in 2010. Despite the slow start the skiing season thanks to the long wait for many resorts to receive their first snowfalls, ski trips are booking well according to resorts in Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy. Lapland is also proving a popular choice among families wanting to take the kids to see the northern lights and the ‘real’ Santa, although Swedes might dispute whether the Finnish version is the real deal!
Sun-lovers have been booking cheap flights to the Canary Islands, with Mexico and Cuba also proving popular, according to ABTA. New Year’s Eve Travellers are focusing on city locations such as Rome, Reykjavik, New York, Paris and Dublin. London Heathrow is expecting to launch 1.7 million of the festive travellers on their way, with the 22 and 23 December shaping up to the be the busiest days for travel over the holidays.
“With all the doom and gloom of the economy it looks like people are keen to escape for a break, whether they are visiting friends and family or looking to enjoy winter sun or guaranteed snow,” commented Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA. He added that he was “delighted” to see so many Brits taking breaks over the Christmas period.
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