British holidaymakers have shunned the slopes and headed down under this winter according to new research from Barclays Travel Insurance.
[USPRwire, Mon Feb 19 2007] Research from Barclays Travel Insurance has shown that Melbourne and Sydney have seen a huge increase in the number of visiting British tourists this winter as millions opted to take in the English cricket team’s Ashes whitewash rather than the white slopes of a ski holiday.
The research from Barclays Travel Insurance indicates that Sydney has seen a 25% increase in Brits visiting the city whilst Melbourne welcomed a massive 140% more British tourists than last year. The Australian cities are also two of the destinations with the biggest increase in the amount spent by British tourists with spending in Melbourne increasing by 178%.
Other destinations which are seeing an upsurge in UK visitors include Hong Kong and Phuket ??" both popular stop-offs on route to Australia ??" and New York, where shoppers have been flocking to take advantage of the strong pound/dollar exchange rate
The top 5 list of destinations and percentage increases by British visitor numbers from December 2005-January 2006 compared with December 2006-January 2007 were:
1. Melbourne 140%
2. Sydney 25%
3. Phuket 24%
4. Hong Kong 21%
5. Dubai 15%
In contrast, spending and visitor numbers to European ski resorts such as Meribel, Val D’Isere and Chamonix were down by up to 18% on the same time last year, which was not helped by the limited snow fall which have occurred so far this season across these regions.
The list of the top six ski destinations and percentage changes by British visitor numbers and spending from December 2005-January 2006 compared with December 2006-January 2007 shows:
1. Chamonix -18%, spending -19%
2. Val D’Isere -12%, spending +9%
3. Morzine -12%, spending -1%
4. Meribel -2%, spending 0%
5. Courchevel +1%, spending +18%
6. Verbier +13%, spending +8%
The top five destinations measured by the numbers of visiting British tourists across December and January are currently Paris, Sydney, Dublin, New York and Dubai. Las Vegas, Verbier and Phuket are the destinations where Brits spend the most ??" an average of almost £400 each ??" whilst British visitors to Dublin, Paris and Prague spend less than £100 each.
Mark Till, Marketing Director for Barclays Insurance, comments: “Long haul breaks seem to be becoming increasingly popular with British holidaymakers over the Christmas and New Year period. Flights are getting cheaper and Brits are prepared to trek further for the chance of some proper winter sunshine. Of course this year the numbers travelling to Australia were boosted further by the added attraction of the Ashes taking place whilst Europe’s slow start to the ski season due to a lack of snow has also encouraged tourists to look elsewhere.”
Barclays offers travel insurance for single and annual multiple trips across the world including winter sports cover. For more information, a quote and a 10% online discount visit the Barclays Insurance site.