A record 1.6 million Britons have headed to the sun this Bank Holiday weekend and the top destination is Majorca.
The British tourist industry is also enjoying a healthy summer with an estimated four percent rise in bookings, but the big winner is still proving to be the Mediterranean resorts as well as the Canary Islands, mainland Spain and the Greek Islands. However, Greece's current bad publicity is doing little to attract British visitors and late bookers are avoiding the Greek trouble spots.
Chief executive of the Association of British Travel Agents, Ian Reynolds, said yesterday “there's no doubt about the fact that most of us love to relax away on holiday in August and this year is proving no exception.” The majority of the 1.6 million Britons who have fled the country for a weekend overseas are from South East England, 395.000 are flying out of Heathrow, 240.000 from Gatwick, 135.000 from Stansted and 80.000 from Luton airports. Meanwhile a further 300.000 are leaving through regional airports such as 160.000 from Manchester, 65.000 from Birmingham and 35.000 from East Midlands.
Even in Scotland where it is not a Bank Holiday, 113.000 Scots are taking the opportunity to swap their bad weather for some sunshine before the British winter starts to set in. In addition, Eurostar is expecting to see 60'000 people travel to the Continent with them while a further 320.000 people will either be heading to France or coming to Spain by ferry. Hotel occupancy in Majorca reached 85 percent last month, the highest level in Spain, but for August, even hoteliers along the Playa de Palma who have been grumbling all summer, are expecting to post 95 percent occupancy levels for August with these last two weeks of peak season pushing tourist resorts to near maximum capacity.


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