Spain is still the top holiday destination. Picture by Flickr user Olli365
It may be one of the hottest summer’s we’ve had for years, but that isn’t stopping the two million holidaymakers set to head overseas this weekend.
As the first weekend of the summer holidays for the majority in England, airports are bracing themselves for one of their busiest weekends of the year. The southeast in particular is going to be very busy with 480,000 passengers departing from Heathrow, 276,000 from Gatwick, 125,000 from Stansted and 70,000 jetting off from Luton.
Further up north 160,000 are due to depart from Manchester, 66,000 from Birmingham, 70,000 from Newcastle, 50,000 from Bristol and 30,000 from Leeds Bradford International. Sottish airports don’t fair too badly either with 50,000 leaving from Glasgow alone.
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “This weekend sees the start of the main summer holiday getaway and it’s one of the busiest of the year.
“Millions of holidaymakers will be heading off overseas with the Mediterranean countries attracting the lion’s share of visitors.
According to ABTA, Spain remains the top holiday destination with the Balearic and Canary Islands selling especially well. Mexico and Cuba are among the top-selling long-haul holidays, although Florida remains the number one choice for families.
Domestic tourism isn’t doing too badly either, thanks to last week’s heatwave boosting bookings with many ABTA members reporting a surge in business to destinations including the Channel Islands, the Lake District, Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton.
“The recent amazing weather at home has also given a great boost to domestic tourism and many ABTA members are reporting a surge in last minute bookings for holidays throughout the UK” said Tanzer.
Eurostar is also reporting an increase in passenger numbers on last year, with 70,000 heading off to Paris and the South of France this weekend.