Australia is the top destination of choice this Christmas by Irish holidaymakers, according to booking trends released by Travel Counsellors Ireland.
Bookings for travel to Australia between 10 December and 10 January are up 36.5% compared to the same Christmas period last year. The top 10 list also includes the USA, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Finland, Maldives, and Austria.
Cathy Burke, General Manager, Travel Counsellors Ireland, said: “This winter is our busiest ever for bookings with our customers spending more time abroad this time of year. More and more of us are choosing to celebrate the festive period abroad, travelling long-haul to spend time with friends and family. This is especially reflected in the bookings to Australia, with many set to visit relatives living out there during December.
“For others, travelling this Christmas and New Year is simply an opportunity to relax and unwind, and either catch some winter sun or be guaranteed snow for an authentic Christmas experience. There are some fantastic locations on our Top 10 list that will truly get you into the festival spirit – like the USA, and the city that is synonymous with Christmas, New York, with The Rink at Rockefeller Center being one of the city’s most celebrated traditions; while in Cancun, Mexico, celebrations and candlelight processions known as Los Posadas start in mid-December, where locals re-enact the Christmas nativity on the streets right up until the big celebratory event on Christmas Eve.
“It is also no surprise that the ultimate pre-Christmas holiday to Lapland, in Finland, is in our Top 10 list. Travelling to Finland is such a magical festive adventure for all the family, visiting Santa’s home in Lapland and experiencing a world of magic with husky sledding, reindeer sleigh rides and toboggan fun.”
Bookings for cruises are also up between the dates 1 November to 1 January, for those wishing to enjoy a luxurious, stress-free winter holiday. The most popular cruise destinations are the Middle East, Northern Europe, and the Caribbean.
Cathy added: “If you are looking to get away for Christmas, there is limited availability to some winter sun destinations such as the Caribbean or Asia. However, if you are looking to book that special Christmas getaway, then I would recommend booking in January for Christmas 2020.”