UK Travel Agents Say Bookings to Greece Remain Healthy

Despite high profile coverage of Greece’s economic problems during the peak holiday season and the migration crisis, bookings to the country remain healthy, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said while presenting its Holiday Habits Report 2015 on Tuesday during the Travel Convention at Costa Navarino.

Citing GfK statistics, ABTA said that Greece’s numbers for summer 2015 were up from last year.

ABTA members also reported good numbers for Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta both for the summer of 2015 and for forward bookings for next year. Spain and its islands have performed particularly well in summer 2015, boosted by extra capacity being put on by tour operators.

On the other hand, Turkey and Egypt were the main destinations that saw a drop in business in 2015, ABTA informed citing GfK statistics. This may partly have been due to the public reaction to the terrorist attack in Tunisia at the end of June.

“Due to the global nature of the travel industry it is particularly exposed to world events, either natural or man-made”, ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said.

“This summer saw some very difficult conditions with the appalling terrorist attack in Tunisia and the economic and political issues around the Mediterranean.”

Mr Tanzer underlined that it is a reflection of the resilient nature of the British holidaymaker that such events don’t appear to have discouraged people from taking overseas holidays with consumer confidence continuing to return to the market “as we look ahead to 2016”.

According to new ABTA research, almost a quarter (23 percent) of the UK population is expecting to spend more on their holidays in 2016, up slightly from 20 percent who said the same this time last year.

Industry figures also point to many consumers feeling positive about holidays next year, early indications show the number of overseas holidays booked to date up 12 percent year-on-year and bookings for 2015 winter holidays up 5 percent.

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