The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has released figures which show that European destinations are performing well this summer, with increased numbers of bookings compared with 2010.
Cheap holidays to Spain were shown to be helping a boost in popularity for the country, with the ABTA saying that bookings to Spanish destinations this summer showed an 11 per cent increase over figures for 2010. Portugal holidays were also experiencing a return to favour, with an increase of 8 per cent in bookings this year compared to summer 2010. Even Greece has experienced growth, despite doubts and protests surrounding the country’s economic future, with a 2 per cent increase in bookings for summer 2011 over 2010.
The ABTA said that bookings to Europe and North Africa overall were experiencing an upturn of 9 per cent for summer 2011, quoting research by GfK-Ascent M1. The Association attributed the growth to prices being kept low by hoteliers, and also to great deals offered by tour operators on all inclusive holidays to Egypt and other resorts in the region. Better value for money in restaurants and bars was also said to be a factor in the growth in bookings.
UK holidaymakers are also increasingly choosing trips to European cities such as Paris, Madrid and Rome, according to the ABTA. However, for the best deals this summer, the ABTA suggested travellers should look at Egypt holidays, as well as packages to Tunisia – both of which are being offered at discounts to lure customers back after political unrest there. Turkey was also said to be a good option for holidaymakers on a budget.
Other areas of the travel industry experiencing growth included the cruise industry – seeing a 5 per cent rise in bookings in 2011 – as well as luxury holidays, adventure holidays and spa breaks.