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Gatwick expects six million passengers to travel this summer
7:54am Thursday 25th July 2013 in News
Around two million Britons will head overseas this weekend as the school summer holiday getaway begins.
Airports in south east are expecting a very busy weekend, with about 480,000 passengers likely to depart from Heathrow, 276,000 from Gatwick, and 125,000 from Stansted.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "This weekend sees the start of the main summer holiday getaway and it's one of the busiest of the year.
"Millions of holidaymakers will be heading off overseas with the Mediterranean countries attracting the lion's share of visitors.
"The recent amazing weather at home has also given a great boost to domestic tourism and many Abta members are reporting a surge in last-minute bookings for holidays throughout the UK."
Gatwick expects to see six million passengers travel through the West Sussex airport between July 19 and September 2.
For those leaving from Gatwick, destinations in Spain remain the most popular travel spots this holiday, with the southern resort of Malaga topping the list for a second year running.
Gatwick said new entries into the top 10 most-popular destinations included Dublin and Belfast.
The airport's busiest day for departures will be tomorrow (Friday), with about 72,000 people expected to fly out.
Meanwhile, a survey of 1,000 people by travel company Travel Counsellors showed that 55% of consumers look forward to going on holiday more than any other event in the year.
Separately, online travel agent Directline Holidays said package holiday bookings were up for summer 2013 as holidaymakers snapped up reduced price holidays, many with discounts of up to 50%.
It added that all-inclusive packages had seen the biggest increase over the last few weeks, with bookings now up 11% compared to summer 2012.
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