What you need to know

The past two years have seen a steady growth in demand for winter holidays abroad after a number of years in the doldrums during the economic downturn, when household incomes were being squeezed and people were opting to take fewer holidays or holiday more in the UK in response.

The first signs of recovery were evident in the winter of 2014/15, where market volume (measured in terms of trips) grew by nearly 11%. A similar rate of growth has been seen during the winter of 2015/16 and might have been higher but for the destabilisation of the market caused by the geopolitical unrest and terrorism events which have taken place in several key winter holiday markets such as Egypt and Tunisia (for longer holidays) and Paris (for short breaks), which have forced operators to stop offering holidays in Egypt and Tunisia and rebalance their programmes towards resorts in the western Mediterranean.

Positive factors driving market growth in the winter of 2015/16 included a strong October in terms of beach holidays and a better than expected ski season which, after a slow start in the first half due to poor snow conditions, saw a good finish with plentiful, good quality snow in the second half.

Covered in this Report

This Report covers all winter holidays abroad, which are trips including an overnight stay, whether they are short breaks of one to three nights or longer holidays of four or more nights, both in European and non-European countries. Winter holidays taken in the UK are not included.

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