A long UK winter, a damp April and an equally wet start to May have been driving up overseas holiday bookings, according to various holiday websites.
Virgin Atlantic said recently that bookings are up by 37% compared to last year, with destinations in the Caribbean proving particularly popular. “Britain’s bad weather has created a flood of passengers eager to fly to sun-soaked destinations such as Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua,” said Greg Dawson, a Virgin Atlantic spokesman.
Factor in a potential exodus abroad by Britons leaving the country during the Olympics and it could be a very good year for holiday resorts, especially in destinations which are firm timeshare favourites, including Spain. One holiday company says that bookings to Mallorca are up 60% for the Jubilee weekend.
A quick glance at average temperatures around Europe this week shows Amsterdam hovering in the teens, Corfu with 26C, Gibraltar around 22C, Malaga and Nicosia in the high 20s and Dublin not faring much better than Helsinki, with occasional peaks in the mid teens. Further south, Marrakech is already warming up and well into the thirties on the mercury readings.
Despite the almost continuous rain in past weeks, the UK still remains under a hosepipe ban. March was the driest month in 59 years and April the wettest month in 101 years.