Pack your sombreros, because we’re heading back to Spain. Following a spate of terrorist attacks elsewhere, both Spain and Portugal are reporting bookings up by a quarter for 2016. In fact, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), as of the first week of April, Spain accounted for over 40% of all British holiday bookings.
Be warned; it could get quite cosy there, as, according to a research agency GfK, over half a million Britons have already booked to go to Spain or Portugal. Its research showed that, by the end of January, ‘the industry had already sold more all-inclusive two weeks packages to Portugal than the whole of the summer last year’.
For once, it appears that we Brits are heeding Foreign Office advice regarding previously popular tourist destinations such as Tunisia and Sharm el-Sheikh and shunning them in favour of the Mediterranean. The Spanish hotel industry’s gain is very much Egypt’s loss with bookings for that country down by 60%. Even bookings to Turkey are down by an estimated 35%.
Worryingly, ABTA says that ‘bookings were being funnelled into limited areas’. Read that as meaning some Spanish resorts are going to be packed this summer!
Will all these changes mean cheaper holidays? Unlikely says analysts at HSBC who estimate that both Easyjet and Ryanair ‘hedged’ their fuel requirements, meaning that further drops in oil prices won’t be passed onto passengers.
As Michael O’Leary might say, ‘large Sangrias all round’.