April showers drive consumers abroad
Holiday bookings rise with water levels following wettest April in 100 years
We’ve just endured the wettest April on record for 100 years and now we’re facing (yet another) rainy bank holiday, grrrr. Little wonder then that Brits are looking to beat the downpour by escaping overseas.
Virgin Holidays has revealed that on April 29 (aka ‘Soggy Sunday’ ), enquiries increase by more than half – with long lazy days in the Caribbean closely followed by breaks in Florida , aptly called the Sunshine State where it was a balmy 31⁰C over the weekend, the most popular destinations.
Last Sunday’s downpours, which saw an average of 97mm of rain fall across the UK – and meant the UK, received 166 per cent of the average for April, set off a wave of interest in warmer, drier climes. Web traffic to virginholidays.co.uk rose by 11 per cent last week versus the same week last year, with over 600 enquiries about Orlando villas made every day alone!
Call volumes peaked for the month on 30 April – believed to be a direct result of the downpour of the previous day with 35 per cent of customers booking to go to Florida and 25 per cent to the Caribbean. Meanwhile on the high street, consumers sheltered for cover in Virgin Holiday’s retail network where bookings rose by 256 per cent, compared to the same weekend last year.
And despite last week’s confirmation that the country has slipped in to a double dip recession, the wet weather seems to have convinced sun-starved Brits that the prospect of a submerged summer is worth spending money to escape from, with the average family of four getting away to the Caribbean from £2,866, or to Florida from £2,159.
Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, isn’t surprised by the findings: “After the wettest April in a century, and numerous predictions for an overcrowded, washout summer, it’s hard to blame [Brits] for turning their back on the staycation.”