As the tourist industry on the island continued to reap the benefits of a late summer surge, ABTA estimated around 1.8 million Brits would leave the country during the Bank Holiday weekend (27-30 August 2010). Friday will be the busiest day, but over the whole weekend the following numbers of people will be leaving the country. In the South East over 420,000 will be leaving from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 136,000 from Stansted and 65,000 from Luton. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands will leave through regional airports including 145,000 from Manchester, 25,000 from Leeds Bradford, 12,000 from Southampton and 65,000 from Birmingham. In Scotland 116,000 will be flying out from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
In addition 60,000 will use the Eurostar for trips to the continent and 500,000 people will be heading abroad by ferry or Eurotunnel.
Beach destinations remain at the top of the priority list for this time of year with the Mediterranean resorts in the Balearic Islands, mainland Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus and the Greek Islands the top holiday favourites. The States is also proving to be popular, with Orlando and New York the top destinations, while for European cities, Paris, Amsterdam, Venice and Dublin lead the way.
UK beach resorts on the South Coast, and Devon and Cornwall, also promise to be busy.
John McEwan, ABTA’s Chairman said: “This weekend is the last great getaway of the summer and I am delighted to see that so many customers are taking the opportunity to head off on holiday overseas, as well as the two million who will be sampling the delights of our beach resorts and countryside as well as the beautiful cities here at home”.
And the good news continued, with the Minister for Tourism and Commerce in Madrid reporting that tourism spend in the Balearics last month had risen by 12.5 per cent, the sharpest increase in Spain. To be exact last month tourists spent €1,800 million in the Balearics, with the Brits once again topping the list.