By Humphrey Carter
A record number of Britons are going to be spending Christmas and New Year abroad this year but neither the Balearics nor Majorca are going to benefit from the mass UK exodus. The Association of British Travel Agents said yesterday that 2.3 million Britons are going away over the next few weeks in search of guaranteed sun or snow and exciting cities for New Year. As the Balearics is finding it increasingly difficult to compete in any of those categories the closest some of those 2.3 million Britons is going to get is Southern Spain and the Canary Islands, both of which are selling well this winter. But, it appears that winter sun seekers in Britain are feeling adventurous this year with the Arab world proving an unlikely beneficiary of tens of thousands of Britons looking to get away from the traditions of families, turkey and tinsel. Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Dubai have all reported a surge in holiday bookings giving the traditional favourite destinations of the Canary Islands, Florida and the Caribbean a run for their money. So too is the south of Spain which is performing much better than usual.
The big winner of the winter ski exodus is the United States with Britons keen to cash in on the weak dollar. France, Austria and Italy continue to be the favourite destinations as are Andorra and Bulgaria for the family ski market.
When it comes to New Year, the top five city destinations are Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Dublin and New York.
The big getaway starts tomorrow and it is expected to be the busiest day of the peak travel period with many people flying out to their Christmas destination straight after leaving work. With regards to the Spanish, the three top package holiday destinations this Christmas are Paris, London and Latin America.
For those booking flights only, Prague, Budapest, Moscow, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki are proving very popular. For Spaniards looking to spend Christmas and New Year away from home at a domestic destination, the top choices are Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Palma and Seville.


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