1.8 million Brits will head overseas for the August bank holiday weekend, with numbers on a par with last year, according to ABTA.
Traffic through the main airports is expected to be very busy with 430,000 leaving from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 from Stansted, 150,000 from Manchester, 65,000 from Birmingham, 24,000 from Leeds Bradford and 70,000 from Luton.
115,000 will leave from the main Scottish airports, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. In addition hundreds of thousands will be heading out through regional airports and over or under the channel.
Spain is the UK holidaymakers’ number one destination, in particular the Balearic Islands and on the mainland, the various Costas. Portugal and the Greek islands are doing very well this year and Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt are offering great value.
New York, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and Rome are leading the way for city breaks.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive revealed: “This bank holiday weekend is the traditional curtain call for the busiest summer months and I am delighted that hundreds and thousands of our customers are heading off to enjoy a break in the sun overseas as well as the millions who will be sampling the delights of our beach resorts, countryside and historic cities here at home.”
According to search and social marketing agency Greenlight, the term ‘Cheap holidays’ came tops for online holiday searches by UK consumers between May and June. ‘Holidays’ and ‘last minute holidays’ followed in second and third place with searches totalling 1 million and 751,000, respectively.
‘Last minute holidays’ saw the highest jump in search volumes (50%) rising from 301,000 in May to 450,000 in June. ‘All inclusive holidays’ likewise enjoyed a 23% surge. However, those for ‘Direct holidays’, fourth in the rankings, saw the greatest fall. June volumes slumped 18% on May’s level.
Meanwhile. Eurotunnel has suspended bookings for the Calais to Folkestone crossing from tomorrow until Tuesday due to the threat of French workers going on strike.
Meanwhile rail travellers may face delays with engineering works due to take place. Although Network Rail claims 3.5% more trains will run this year compared with the in 2010.