North Europe is blanketed under one of the heaviest snowfall it has seen in these last decades. Even countries used to snow are struggling to cope with the sheer amount. In Scotland, the transport minister had to resign while in Germany, some places have been running out of de-icer. In the UK, the recent snowfalls have been the heaviest for the last 30 years and more snow is forecast, lasting up to a month. The result? British people are booking holidays abroad in droves.
Seeking the sun
The UK has always suffered from poor weather and the British are used to going abroad to benefit from sunnier climates. Now is no exception and as the snow and the cold bites in, holidays are flying off the shelf, so to speak. Despite crumbling economies around the country – Ireland and Greece come to mind – the recession is having a positive effect on prices. Travel agents are slashing holiday packages in a bid to keep business flowing in and staying afloat.
The combination of the weakening Euro against the Pound and dropping holiday prices has seen Spain as the main beneficiary, or more specifically the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa. Tenerife, Fuertoventura and Lanzarote are the short-haul hotspot at this time of the year in the northern hemisphere. Sharm el Sheikh, despite recent shark attacks in the resort, is also featuring high up among the top destinations as a result of the cold snap.
There has been a drop in long-haul destinations such as to the Carribean Islands and sunnier parts of the US, partly due to higher taxes, partly blamed on BA increasing its fuel surcharge to long-haul destinations. However, BA’s surcharge increase is no more than £20 on a return ticket, a small increase compared to the cost of a return flight to these far-flung destinations.
The weather has always been a driver in the travel industry. Great weather at the holiday destination is not the only factor, poor weather in the home country also influences travel.