• The Balearics are the top UK holiday destination, accounting for 16.2% of UK holiday purchases in the key January period, ahead of second place Greece at 15.4%
  • Hotel federation president downplays fall of 3% in Ibiza bookings.

Balearics top UK holiday destination

The sale of Ibiza holiday products to the British market has decreased by 3% in January this year compared to the same period of 2017.

177,958 holiday products have been purchased between 1st and 31st of January – historically the busiest month for summer holiday bookings. This is slightly down on the 2017 total of 183,309, according to information provided by ABTA, the British association of tour operators and agencies.

President of the Hotel Federation of Ibiza and Formentera, Juanjo Riera, downplays this decline in pre-booked travel, stating that “there are many direct customers who arrive on the island without buying a tourist package. Riera said that the most significant part of the first set of data is the recovery of competing destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

The report reveals a 6% increase in the sale of tour packages in the United Kingdom in general, with just over 4.3 million. The Balearic islands remain the favorite destination of the British, with 702,842 sales in travel agencies, despite a drop of 3% compared to January 2017.

16.2% of total holiday sales registered in the United Kingdom are to the Balearics. The decrease in Mallorca stands at 4% (399,734 packages sold) and in Menorca at 2% (124.702).

The sale of vacations in the rest of Spain, without counting the Canary Islands, is 446,884 packages, an increase of 5%.

The recovery of Greece & Turkey

Greece is the second destination most British tourists choose (15.4% of the total), with 671,785 sales, a 15% increase on January 2017 (585,873). Riera says that Greece has a similar number of tourist places to the Balearics, and so makes for a good comparison.

Much more significant is the rise recorded in Turkey, which achieved an increase of 83%. In January 2017, the British had purchased 196,291 tourist packages to Turkey, however in the same period of this year the figure has almost doubled to 359,013.

There has also been a significant increase towards Egypt (21%), although it must be taken into account that figures for the North African country are still very low. In January 2017, 25,934 tourist packages were sold and in the first month of this year, 31,500. In Cyprus the sale goes up 10% (235,479 sales).

Read our 2017 end of year Tourism statistics