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The changing pattern of the British holiday

When ABTA released booking figures for January and February 2005, the numbers showed a changing pattern in British holidays - with Spain and France big losers, and some surprising winners.

The numbers included the following (compared to bookings in 2004):

Winners
1. Hungary +124%
2. Poland +91%
3. Sweden +82%
4. Bahamas +67%
5. UAE +57%
6. Australia +53%
7. Turkey +39%
8. Denmark +39%
9. Africa +36%
10. Czech Republic +26%

Losers
1. Sri Lanka -37%
2. France -18%
3. Balearics -12%
4. Spain -10%
5. Portugal -8%
6. Thailand - 7%
7. Canaries - 7%
8. Caribbean -1%

ABTA suggested a 'Palin effect', with Britain's travelling further afield to combine exploring interesting destinations rather than sitting on a beach.

Or, if you ignore the tsunami hit countries, it could look like a shift to destinations served by the budget airlines (Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic), combined with the continued shift to later booking for summer holidays (France, Spain, Balearics, Portugal, Canaries down).

On such thin bookings, it's difficult to tell which.

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