ABTA reveals 4.7m Brits are set for winter getaways

ABTA estimates that over 4.7 million passengers are heading abroad over the Christmas and New Year period, with the peak travel day predicted to be December 21st.

Unsurprisingly, Christmas Day itself is expected to be the quietest day for travel.

Holidaymakers are either heading off for some much-needed winter sun or to colder climes to enjoy the snow.

Winter sun lovers are expected to head short haul to the Canary Islands, Alicante and Egypt, while Dubai and India are long haul favourites.

For those looking for a traditional Christmas experience in a snowy destination, Tromso and Lapland are expected to be the most popular destinations, while Munich and Frankfurt are other winter destinations which are also selling well this year.

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Popular New Year’s Eve breaks include the cities of Amsterdam, Budapest and Berlin.

Domestically London, Edinburgh and Dublin continue to lead the way.

Millions of people are leaving the country through the major airports, all of which are reporting high numbers.

Some 560,000 are departing from Stansted, 377,500 from Luton, in addition to around 235,000 leaving from Bristol.

Gatwick Airport expects to see 73,000 passengers fly out on December 23rd alone and Heathrow is also anticipated to be very busy with well over a million departing during the festive period.

A significant number of people are also travelling across the English Channel by ferry or through the Channel Tunnel, with hundreds of thousands heading off on the Eurostar who report their busiest day will be December 21st.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “Christmas and New Year are always very busy times for the travel industry as people head off to spend their well-earned holidays with family and friends.

“Whether holidaymakers are flying away for some winter sun, travelling to a snowy destination or staying closer to home, this year’s festive break looks set to be another busy one.

“Its important people allow extra time for their journeys and check ahead for any disruption if travelling by public transport.”