Cross-Channel operators expecting busiest Easter getaway as ABTA predicts 2m exodus

Cross-Channel operators expecting busiest Easter getaway as ABTA predicts 2m exodus

Rail travel into Europe has continued to be a popular travelling choice for Brits after Eurotunnel and Eurostar announced they had seen an increase in year-on-year sales. Despite the rising cost of petrol and subsequently consumers said to be put off by driving on holiday, Eurotunnel has posted a nine percent increase in sales during April compared to last year. The cross-Channel operator is expected to carry 50,000 cars between 21-25 April alone. “Thursday, April 21 will be our busiest day,” said Harvey Alexander, marketing and sales director at Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. He said one appeal of rail travel was that pets could come with passengers. “We have more than 430 pets travelling to France with us that day, and a further 319 making their way to the Continent on Good Friday,” he added. Meanwhile, Eurostar has posted an eight percent increase in over the Easter weekend and surge in inbound bookings for the Royal Wedding. “We’re expecting this to be our busiest Easter weekend for years with tens of thousands of people travelling on Eurostar for a weekend away,” said Nick Mercer, commercial director at Eurostar. “Paris, Brussels and Disneyland Paris remain amongst our most popular destinations for short breaks, but Amsterdam, Cologne and Marseille are increasing in popularity as more people take advantage of fast connecting high speed rail services to travel further.” ABTA confirmed that cities had remained popular with Brits heading away for the Easter weekend, as well as Spain. “Easter is the traditional curtain raiser to the summer and the Royal Wedding bank holiday has given a special boost to bookings,” said John McEwan, chairman of ABTA. The association has estimated that two million holidaymakers will head overseas this weekend, with 60,000 travelling from Heathrow; 250,000 from Gatwick and 125,000 from Manchester.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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