So We Are Going Abroad for Easter: Why?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), 2 million people are heading overseas for the Easter break. There are two important facts beneath this headline.
The first is that there has been a large last minute booking rush by people so those people who have been saying that, more than ever this year, we are leaving it till the last minute appear to be right. Will this happen for summer holidays as well? For those of us who haven’t booked for summer yet, it means we have to consider how late we can leave it given that tour operators have cut back on the number of holidays available.
The second point is that this figure of 2 million means that more people are going abroad than last year. But we are in a recession. Shouldn’t the numbers be down?
There are some possible answers. It could be that people are taking a short break rather than a longer holiday this year and summer figures could dip. It could be that the need for a holiday has become so important to many of us that we will do what we have to get that holiday. A holiday then has become a bit like Charlie Brown’s blanket from the cartoon strip, Snoopy;- it’s a bit of security in an odd world. Another thought I have is that maybe this recession is bottoming or people can see the way out of it. Finally, the recession is not hitting some people as much as the media might have us believe.
We are going to places where the pound has not fared so badly against the local currency; Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Cuba are in the top of the lists but so are Spain and the Canaries. But Spain and the Canaries are euro areas. The “experts” are saying that numbers will be down in euro countries. So how do we explain that? Two possible answers come to mind. The first is that such a lot of go there that even a largish dip would still leave it in a top position and the second is that people are determined to have a break in a place they know will give almost guaranteed sunshine despite the increase in costs. There is another answer; as I said earlier, people can see the way out of the recession or it isn’t as bad as it seems.
Whatever the answer, ABTA members have 5,900 travel agencies throughout the country and that covers a heck of a lot of people. If they say that’s what happening, it is. This isn’t an industry fudge to talk up travel

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