'Mass exodus' from UK this winter
Millions of British people will take a winter holiday this year, leaving many workplaces with a skeleton staff, according to research.
British employers could find themselves with empty workplaces this winter as millions of people are set to take their main annual holiday over the coming season.
The mild summer in the UK this year meant that many people refrained from taking holidays within Britain as they had done in previous years, leading to a build-up in unused holiday entitlement, according to lastminute.com.
Workers are adopting a 'use it rather than lose it' attitude, the site said, and booking winter trips to make up for the disappointing summer.
Some 71 per cent of the 1,000 employees surveyed said they still have more than half their entitlement of annual leave to take.
Lastminute.com's booking figures show that the majority of sales over the last month are for holidays before the end of the year and 35 per cent of these are scheduled for the last two weeks of December.
John Bevan, UK managing director of lastminute.com, said: "The poor summer weather this year has left people desperate to experience sunnier climes before 2008.
"Many workers have yet to take the bulk of their entitlement, so we are seeing people booking long holidays in their droves for the rest of the year."
Some 78 per cent of the departures booked through lastminute.com for the rest of 2007 will leave from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted or Luton.
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