High street travel agents in the United Kingdom are enjoying some Christmas cheer and the indication for the traditional rush on holiday sales in January and February are looking good. But the German market which declined severely in the Balearics this year, is showing no signs of recovering. The latest market reports in the UK indicate that the number of Britons flying overseas this Christmas will approaching last year's record of one million and despite September 11, British Airways says that New York is the top long-haul destination over the festive period. Association of British Travel Agents sources said “we believe the figure for those jetting away will be close to one million. “These statistics will boost travel confidence. People are going on their travels. They don't want to put their lives on hold any longer. ABTA said that the canary Islands are proving to be the top destination with mainland Spain in second place. A spokesperson for Airtours said “we are enormously boosted by the Christmas demand. There are some good late deals, but they are not too many left. “Tenerife, Gran canaria and Lanzarote are our top sellers this Christmas...things are looking extremely promising.” To the contrary, in Germany, the holiday market has come to a halt since September 11, adding to the industry's woes with the number of Germans visiting the Balearics this year down nearly ten per cent. The Balearics has been the worst hit, but so too has mainland Spain, the United States and the Dominican Republic. The decline has in fact been the first since 1990 and unlike the British market, the German sector is showing little sign of recovering in the short term.

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