Press team

As the winter holiday season gets underway, winter holiday bookings are up 16% year on year according to the latest industry figures*. ABTA research** also shows that three in ten people (29%) are planning to take a winter break, with winter sun the most popular holiday type.  

Table 1.1 – Will you take a winter holiday or break this year?





Don’t know



People aged 25-34 are most likely to be taking a winter holiday, with over a third (36%) planning to do so, followed closely by people aged over 65 (33%). The younger 18-24 year olds are the age group most likely to be undecided about taking a winter holiday, with a third (33%) stating this.

Of those planning a winter holiday, winter sun is the most popular holiday option, with almost a third (31%) choosing this type of trip, followed by city breaks and UK breaks.

Table 1.2 – What type of winter holiday will you take? (People planning a winter holiday)


Winter sun


City break


UK break


Ski holiday




Christmas market break


Northern lights



Winter bookings appear to be following a broadly similar pattern to the summer, when a drop in business to traditionally popular destinations like Tunisia and Egypt, following high profile terrorist incidents and changes to Foreign Office travel advice, drove a growth in popularity to the Western Mediterranean in particular. According to GfK’s Travel Leisure Monitor, bookings to the most popular winter holiday destination, Spain, are up 33% year-on-year, Portugal is looking very strong with bookings up 41%, and Cyprus is up 34%.

Away from Europe, long haul sunseekers are driving growth in the winter market with bookings to the Caribbean up 21% and Asia 17%. ABTA Members have also reported strong sales to Cape Verde.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, commented: “It is very encouraging that bookings for the winter season are looking strong.  With such a wide range of holiday options available in the winter months, from winter sun to city and ski breaks, it is not surprising that so many people are planning a winter break.”

About ABTA

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £33.07 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member or Partner means, and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit