HAPPY HOLIDAYS.. 235,000 BOOK TRIPS; Ulster tourists plan summer fun this week.
Byline: JILLY BEATTIE
MORE than 235,000 people in Northern Ireland are expected to book a summer holiday this week.
Cold weather, icy roads and a lack of sunshine are believed to be reasons behind the December push - along with some airlines offering cut-price flights.
Spain tops the list for travel plans but the US is a close second with one in 10 people planning to go Stateside.
Research for ATOL, the holiday protection scheme, also found Northern Ireland tourists are planning to visit Azerbaijan, Bali, Brazil, Kenya and Mexico although in smaller numbers.
Despite the weakness of the pound, the data found the US is more popular than ever with more than a million extra people looking to fly there from the UK in 2018 compared to this year. Younger travellers are set to enjoy trips around Europe next year with Spain, Italy and Greece top of their wish list.
Their top three priorities include good WiFi access, free data roaming, and "Instagrammable" locations.
Millennials' travel plans are in contrast to OAPs who are increasingly using retirement time to travel further afield, such as New Zealand and Australia.
More than a quarter of people said they wanted to book a holiday before next month because they needed sunshine after wintry weather.
And 22% revealed they were grabbing an early bargain.
The OnePoll research showed more than 13% of people in Northern Ireland said they would book their summer trip between Christmas and New Year. And almost half added they count ATOL protection as essential.
Air Travel Organiser's Licences are now a legal requirement for every UK travel company.
The Civil Aviation Authority said it is committed to educating consumers on the importance of the scheme.
Spokesman Richard Moriarty added: "Having an ATOL certificate means your holiday is financially protected, so if the worst happens and your travel company goes bust, you will still be able to get home and will not lose your hard-earned cash."
TOP 10 HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND FOR 2018 | 1 Spain | 2 USA | 3 France | | 4 Netherlands | | 5 Caribbean | | 6 Germany | | 7 Greece | | 8 Ind| 9 Vietnam | | 10 Portugal
LIFE'S A BEACH Family holiday
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Dec 29, 2017|
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