The getaway begins

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Today and over the weekend, the summer exodus begins. ABTA says that two million of us will be leaving the UK and Ireland to head for our summer holidays over the next three of four days. More might have been leaving had not those who might have booked at the last minute not been seduced to stay a bit longer at home by the great weather we have had in the last fortnight or so. The travel industry is still wondering and hoping that they will book.
Over the years that I have been writing stories about summer getaways, the usual question asked is where are the favourite places to holiday? The answer has always been that Spain has been the top destination. Guess what? It still is. It would take a seismic shift in our holiday thinking for any other place to topple Spain and its islands from that position so interest focuses on others. Egypt, for example, is not holding up given the media reporting of the turbulence that the country has experienced over the last few months. Even holidays to the Red Sea resorts are down despite there being few problems if any there. But as for those traditional visits to Cairo and Luxor, they will have a lean summer.
Greece and Tunisia are well up the destination list this year which sees a return in their fortunes. This time last year Greece was nervous on how many people might holiday there. They need have no worries this year. Tunisia has been the surprise. It has returned strongly after the revolution as a preferred destination. Last year the number of Brits and Irish visiting the country was up and this year will be the same again. And people are looking further afield than just the Sousse/Hammamet/Djerba resorts into the south and the desert areas.
The love affair with Turkey continues and Florida is still the top long-haul destination despite APD. Mexico and Cuba continue their ever increasing success at luring us there. And we shouldn’t forget France. Eurostar says 70,000 will be on their trains into France this weekend and those numbers are up as well.

and British resorts are doing well too

The hot weather has had its effect though. ABTA members say that there is strong demand to the Channel Islands, the Lake District and the traditional seaside resorts of Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton. It is to UK resorts that last minute bookers are turning to since, although unsettled weather is forecast over the next week, the temperatures will remain in the mid- twenties. But we still don’t seem to want to visit Ireland in the numbers we once did.
All destinations will be keeping their fingers crossed whether at home or abroad, that they will be the lucky recipients of your holiday travels.

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