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UK statistics office says fortnight summer holidays are dead and buried

MagallufThe UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) says Brits are changing their holiday habits. Statistics for 2016 show Britons going abroad are taking shorter holidays, but more frequently.

The 2016 figures show a huge decline in the number of the traditional fortnight holidays abroad when compared to statistics for 1996. Instead, British people are opting for ten or seven night holidays or even mini breaks.

These shorter holidays are enabling Brits to take more holidays. Figures for the number of holidays taken shot up two-thirds during the intervening two decades. In 1996, the figure stood at 27 million. This rose to 45 million in 2016.

In its summary of the changing habits of holidaying Britons, the ONS speculated that the advent of budget airlines was the main factor. The agency said the likes of Ryanair and easyJet had made flying abroad a cheap proposition and consumers were taking advantage of this.

While holiday lengths are changing, the ONS statistics show little change in preferred destinations. Spain still far outstrips the opposition and is the most popular holiday hotspot for Britons heading overseas. Germany and Dubai are increasing in popularity, but the only additions to a group comprising France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and the US.

The figures also revealed one-day cross-channel trips to France and Belgium are on the decline. In 1996, huge numbers of Britons took booze cruises to stock up on cheap cigarettes and alcohol. The scrapping of Europe-wide duty-free concessions and the ever-increasing price of tobacco products in France means these daytrips are not cost effective any more.

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