Abta forecasts 1.8 million British Holidaymakers will head overseas this weekend for the August Bank Holiday, many enjoying a 10% bonus on the exchange rate with the euro compared with last year.
The pound is at its highest against the euro for four years thanks to the crisis in the euro zone.
Abta’s estimate of the departures is on a par with the last two years, when the association also forecast 1.8 million would head abroad on the Bank Holiday weekend.
In practice, numbers appear to have fluctuated. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) does not publish figures solely for the weekend, but it recorded a 6% decline year on year in outbound holiday departures last August.
Spain will be the most popular destination again this year, says Abta, with the Balearic Islands the most popular area.
The association reports more than 400,000 holidaymakers will depart from Heathrow, 250,000 from Gatwick, 150,000 from Manchester, 124,000 from Stansted and 68,000 from Luton, with more flying from regional airports.
Another 60,000 will depart the UK on Eurostar.
In August 2008, on the brink of the world financial crisis, Abta forecast two million holidaymakers would head abroad for the Bank Holiday. However, the ONS has recorded a 17% decline in numbers departing on holiday between August 2008 and last year.
Stansted appears to have seen the biggest decline among UK airports with a 23% fall in Bank Holiday departures.
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