To escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the cold winter weather, to make use of the holiday period and the quiet time between the years for relaxation: traditionally, many people spend the last few days of the year on holiday. The TUI Holiday Atlas 2016 shows, for the first time, the habits of the guests, the differences between the European countries and the trend destinations of 2016.
The trends are towards exotic and far-away places
When you take a look at the results of the major trend destinations it is clearly noticeable: especially exotic destinations like Gambia (popular with Dutch holidaymakers) or Sri Lanka (especially in demand with Swedish guests) are becoming increasingly popular. Idyllic islands in foreign countries are particularly attractive, when back home wet snow is covering the streets. In France, bookings for holidays in the Bahamas have increased more than sevenfold compared with 2015, and this year the Swiss are particularly keen to fly to the Cape Verde Islands.
The Canary Islands traditionally top the list
The most popular destinations of all, the general desire for sun, beach and warmth is clearly apparent: the Canary Islands - especially Gran Canaria - are not only regarded as the islands of eternal spring, but have always been a regular favourite in winter. Gran Canaria takes first place among the most popular holiday destinations in the Netherlands, Sverige and France. In Germany, Fuerteventura occupies the number one spot, while the English prefer to spend their winter breaks on Tenerife. The Irish choose Lanzarote as their most popular holiday destination over the holidays.
European differences in the top places
The most varied results in the survey are to be found in the rankings directly behind the Canary Islands. For example, a very large number of French people will spend Christmas in Morocco, while the Dutch escape the winter in the former Caribbean colony of Curacao. This year, in particular,the Swedes are being attracted to Thailand, and Swiss to the Maldives. Particularly interesting: only in Germany does a holiday in their own country take one of the top places - at least when it is a matter of bookings via travel agencies.
Holidays on the high seas
Cruises are also extremely popular, especially over Christmas and New Year's Eve. All three cruise shipping companies - TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Thomson Cruises - have offered a festive package. For example, holidaymakers travelling with the feel-good fleet of TUI Cruises will enjoy the holidays in Asia, on the Canaries, in the Caribbean, in Central America or in the United Arab Emirates.
Info: If you would like to travel with TUI at short notice over the holidays, you will still find vacancies at all destinations, especially on Gran Canaria, Majorca and in Turkey. Vacancies are more limited, however, on Fuerteventura. As a general rule, Christmas holiday-makers everywhere should make their bookings as early as possible and be flexible, because particularly in family hotels, rooms can be scarce.