has seen a rush of enquiries for flights to Rome over the past week. Normally Rome features at the bottom-end of the Cheapflights top twenty flight destinations. However, immediately after the Pontiff’s death, it moved into the top five destinations along with the usual London, New York, Malaga and Tenerife top choices. With the date of funeral now known, Rome has climbed into second position.Further afield, following the enormous publicity that resulted from the Boxing Day tsunami that ravaged so many Asian sea-side holiday resorts including Thailand, January saw Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives completely drop out of the top thirty holiday destinations. Pre-tsunami in December, Thailand, the Maldives and Sri Lanka were 11, 21 and 28 respectively for holidays searched for on Cheapholidaydeals.co.uk, the sister package holiday site to Cheapflights.co.uk..
It is gratifying to see that Thailand has now begun to recover as a holiday destination. At the end of March, it was back in the top twenty at 16. It is interesting to note that in the Phuket region many resort hotels received little or no tsunami damage and are mostly operating normally apart from the badly hit Khao Lak region.
David Soskin, CEO of Cheapflights.co.uk commented: “It is great to see Thailand back in the top 20 for Cheapholidaydeals.co.uk It was not as badly hit by the Tsunami as some of the other countries in the region and is heavily dependent on tourism. Phuket is now almost entirely back in operation and British travellers are back looking for great deals to this, one of the most famous holiday islands in the world.
The surge in interest to Rome is quite remarkable. I have never known any event, not the World Cup, nor the Olympics, nor any festival to have had the sort of effect on flight enquiries that the Pope’s funeral is having amongst British travellers.
Cheapflights.co.uk gets three million users a month. For Rome to reach a top 5 destination is quite amazing as previously the Eternal City had never made it even to our top 10. It puts Rome on a par this week with the two big city destinations- London and New York - and the holiday resort hotspots of Malaga and Tenerife.
This suggests that there will be a massive attendance from the UK and Ireland on Friday.”