Almost 20% of people plan to take a winter holiday this year with one in five (21%) still undecided, according to new Abta research.
Winter sun remains the most popular type of holiday but city breaks and ski holidays have both increased in popularity, according to a poll of 2,008 consumers.
Two in five (40%) of those planning a holiday will be seeking winter sun, with this type of break being most popular with older age groups with 59% of 55-64 year olds taking a winter sun holiday.
The Canary Islands are this year’s favourite destination followed by the southern Mediterranean, particularly Greece, Malta and Tunisia. The Caribbean, Mexico and Dubai head long-haul destinations.
Winter city breaks have seen a jump in popularity with four in ten (39%) of those taking a winter holiday planning a city break this year compared to just under a third (31%) in 2012.
The rise in popularity is being driven by younger holidaymakers; almost half (48%) of under 35 year olds planning a winter holiday are taking a city break this year compared to a third (33%) in 2012.
Favourite European destinations include Frankfurt, Paris and Vienna, while Christmas markets in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh are popular.
Winter sports holidays have seen a boost in popularity following excellent snow conditions across Europe last year.
Around 15% of those taking a winter holiday plan a ski or snowboard break, an increase from 10% in 2012. Abta estimates that approximately a million Britons will be hitting the slopes this year.
Skiing and snowboarding holidays are most popular among 16-24 year olds, with nearly half (44%) of those taking a winter break heading for the slopes.
Abta members are also reporting demand for resorts that offer additional activities with consumers keen to do more off the slopes such as yoga, spa treatments and cookery classes.
Resorts in France, Italy and Austria remain the most popular destinations but budget travellers will also be heading for emerging ski destinations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. All eyes will be on Russia as Sochi gears up for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Abta head of communications Victoria Bacon said: “Winter can be a great time for a holiday as there’s no other season where such a range of holidays are so easily available to British holidaymakers. It’s no wonder that taking a break at this time of year is consistently popular whether people are seeking sun, snow or a city break.”
The top 5 ski resorts for Britons are :
- Espace Killy (France)
- Trois Vallées (France)
- Sauze d’Oulx (Italy)
- Kitzbuhel (Austria)
- St Anton (Austria)
(Source: Ski Club of Great Britain)
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