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Two million head overseas this Easter

April passenger numbers up 20 per cent
Happy Easter

[April 8 2009]

Around two million British holiday-makers will head abroad this Easter bank holiday, according to ABTA – The Travel Association.

ABTA members selling overseas holidays have reported an upsurge in bookings for Easter and the summer holidays.

Passenger numbers in April this year will rise by 20 per cent compared to April 2008 due to the Easter effect, says travel industry research company GfK Ascent-MI.

Popular holiday spots this Easter are Spain, the Canary Islands, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, Florida and Cuba. Top city break destinations include Budapest, Prague and Belgrade, all outside the eurozone and offering good value to cash-strapped travellers.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “We knew consumers would have a tendency to book late this year with many people worried about their financial situation, and not wanting to commit too far out.

“But as holiday time looms, people are indeed booking. It appears consumer confidence is rising, and people feel they have enough money in their pocket or just simply have had enough of worrying and have made the decision to go on holiday.”

Almost 300,000 passengers will leave from Heathrow, 270,000 from Gatwick, approximately 200,000 from Stansted and 60,000 from Luton. More than 200,000 travellers will fly from Scotland, and from the north and the Midlands, 100,000 holiday-makers will leave from Manchester, 12,500 from Leeds Bradford and around 200,000 from Birmingham.

Eurostar expects 80,000 travellers to use the Channel Tunnel this Easter.

ABTA UK tour operators are also reporting an excellent season so far with some parks and lodges selling out for the Easter weekend.

Written by: Maxine Clarke

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