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Brits look to Southern Europe for cheap summer vacations

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In the face of high domestic inflation and rising mortgage rates, British tourists are choosing cheaper destinations in Southern Europe and looking for package deals to make summer holidays more affordable. increase.

This year’s summer vacation season, which kicks off in earnest with most schools in England and Wales disbanding next week, is expected to be the busiest for students going abroad. trip However, European destinations do not benefit equally from UK holidaymaker demand.

More than 8,600 flights to Greece and Turkey will depart from UK airports in August, more than a third more than 6,300 in 2019, according to aviation data provider Sirium.

By contrast, flights to more expensive destinations such as France, Italy and Spain are still below 2019 levels. A total of more than 185,000 flights are scheduled to leave UK airports in July and August, about 90% of pre-COVID levels.

Turkey and Portugal rank among the destinations with the highest increase in demand for international travelers from the UK so far this year compared to 2019, according to arrivals data through May, while France, It outpaced the recovery of other destinations such as Spain and Italy. By European Travel Board.

Montenegro benefited from the biggest growth in visitor numbers, but only about 50,000 Britons visited the country last year. The key reasons behind the high demand for Turkey are sterling As for Lira, the tourism group noted.

Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tourism Association, a trade group, said prices for “honeypot destinations” such as Paris, Rome and Venice were “due to surges in demand and limited transport capacity.” , soaring without knowing the ceiling,” he said. As a result, Britons are “increasingly looking elsewhere” to help with budgeting, he said.

According to the ETC, from January to near the end of May, visits to Montenegro by British vacationers more than doubled the number of stays recorded for the same period in 2019, while travel to Turkey increased compared to pre-pandemic levels. It increased by 59%. . Visits to Portugal he increased by 14%.

“Bookings, which surged earlier this year, have slowed since early June as the focus is on where mortgage rates will head,” said Richard Thorfer, director of commercial and business development for the UK and Ireland division of Tui, Europe’s largest travel company. I started,” he said.

But Soffer argued that people “protect” summer vacation budgets before other leisure spending because they “want to treat themselves.” He said the concentration of delays and cancellations at the start of last year’s holiday season will not last this year, despite Gatwick Airport’s 950 ground staff going on strike for eight days in July and August over a salary dispute. He added that it could be avoided.

Nonetheless, customers are taking cost-cutting measures, such as booking all-inclusive plans instead of partial meals and self-catering, to “know the absolute cost of their vacation,” leading to “a few days We are shortening vacations for ,” he said. A break, not a tradedown.

Jet2, the UK’s largest package travel provider, is benefiting from increased demand for package deals as vacationers seek budget certainty against the backdrop of rising costs of living, in a deal update last week. said there is. This summer, 73% of Jet2 passengers purchased packages rather than just tickets, up 5 percentage points from last year.

People on the beach in Antalya, Türkiye
Beach in Antalya, Turkey. British tourists surged as the pound strengthened against the lira © Talip Demirci/Anadolu/Getty Images

But travel industry consultant Paul Charles warned that high prices are making bargains harder to find. “The skyrocketing cost of vacations at all price levels has become a major problem for those who have not yet booked.”

According to Dohop data, the average spend per booking for customers traveling from the UK to the US increased 23.5% in June compared to the same month in 2019, but was up 9.4% last year compared to 2019 levels. rice field. Flight connection booking platform used by over 60 airlines including Spirit, Avianca and Air France.

According to travel technology group Amadeus, the average daily rate for hotels across Europe in July and August is expected to be $262 (£200) per night, compared to the average per night for the same period in 2019. Up from just over $200.

Eduardo Santander, CEO of ETC, said everyone was “choosing their vacations this summer with their budget in mind, but no one thinks so more than British travelers.” , pointing out that room rates are still high. inflation Brexit’s fallout has been less helpful in the UK than in other European countries.

“We’re talking about Europe’s record summer of tourism spending, but the UK is probably playing a smaller role,” Santander added.

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In the face of high domestic inflation and rising mortgage rates, British tourists are choosing cheaper destinations in Southern Europe and looking for package deals to make summer holidays more affordable. increase.This year’s summer vacation season, which kicks off in earnest with most schools in England and Wales disbanding next week, is expected to be the busiest for students going abroad. trip However, European destinations do not benefit equally from UK holidaymaker demand.More than 8,600 flights to Greece and Turkey will depart from UK airports in August, more than a third more than 6,300 in 2019, according to aviation data provider Sirium.By contrast, flights to more expensive destinations such as France, Italy and Spain are still below 2019 levels. A total of more than 185,000 flights are scheduled to leave UK airports in July and August, about 90% of pre-COVID levels.Turkey and Portugal rank among the destinations with the highest increase in demand for international travelers from the UK so far this year compared to 2019, according to arrivals data through May, while France, It outpaced the recovery of other destinations such as Spain and Italy. By European Travel Board.Montenegro benefited from the biggest growth in visitor numbers, but only about 50,000 Britons visited the country last year. The key reasons behind the high demand for Turkey are sterling As for Lira, the tourism group noted.Tom Jenkins, CEO of the European Tourism Association, a trade group, said prices for “honeypot destinations” such as Paris, Rome and Venice were “due to surges in demand and limited transport capacity.” , soaring without knowing the ceiling,” he said. As a result, Britons are “increasingly looking elsewhere” to help with budgeting, he said.According to the ETC, from January to near the end of May, visits to Montenegro by British vacationers more than doubled the number of stays recorded for the same period in 2019, while travel to Turkey increased compared to pre-pandemic levels. It increased by 59%. . Visits to Portugal he increased by 14%.”Bookings, which surged earlier this year, have slowed since early June as the focus is on where mortgage rates will head,” said Richard Thorfer, director of commercial and business development for the UK and Ireland division of Tui, Europe’s largest travel company. I started,” he said.

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But Soffer argued that people “protect” summer vacation budgets before other leisure spending because they “want to treat themselves.” He said the concentration of delays and cancellations at the start of last year’s holiday season will not last this year, despite Gatwick Airport’s 950 ground staff going on strike for eight days in July and August over a salary dispute. He added that it could be avoided.Nonetheless, customers are taking cost-cutting measures, such as booking all-inclusive plans instead of partial meals and self-catering, to “know the absolute cost of their vacation,” leading to “a few days We are shortening vacations for ,” he said. A break, not a tradedown.Jet2, the UK’s largest package travel provider, is benefiting from increased demand for package deals as vacationers seek budget certainty against the backdrop of rising costs of living, in a deal update last week. said there is. This summer, 73% of Jet2 passengers purchased packages rather than just tickets, up 5 percentage points from last year.Beach in Antalya, Turkey. British tourists surged as the pound strengthened against the lira © Talip Demirci/Anadolu/Getty ImagesBut travel industry consultant Paul Charles warned that high prices are making bargains harder to find. “The skyrocketing cost of vacations at all price levels has become a major problem for those who have not yet booked.”According to Dohop data, the average spend per booking for customers traveling from the UK to the US increased 23.5% in June compared to the same month in 2019, but was up 9.4% last year compared to 2019 levels. rice field. Flight connection booking platform used by over 60 airlines including Spirit, Avianca and Air France.According to travel technology group Amadeus, the average daily rate for hotels across Europe in July and August is expected to be $262 (£200) per night, compared to the average per night for the same period in 2019. Up from just over $200.Eduardo Santander, CEO of ETC, said everyone was “choosing their vacations this summer with their budget in mind, but no one thinks so more than British travelers.” , pointing out that room rates are still high. inflation Brexit’s fallout has been less helpful in the UK than in other European countries.”We’re talking about Europe’s record summer of tourism spending, but the UK is probably playing a smaller role,” Santander added.
https://www.ft.com/content/7d066e18-8517-4a23-8198-e75393d96a92 Brits look to Southern Europe for cheap summer vacations

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