Online poll finds that most Brits like to stay at home rather than travel abroad during winter.
In response to recent poll asking Britons about their winter travel habits, most respondents- 43%- conveyed that they didn't like to travel at all when it's cold. Of those that did, 42% liked to go where it's warmer. Only a minority (15%) liked to holiday in colder climes.
The results were distinctive from those of other European countries such as France or Germany. In these countries, around the same percentage as Britain (42%) preferred travelling to warmer countries. However, 40% of respondents in France and 35% in Germany- a far higher proportion than in Britain- liked travelling to chilly winter holiday destinations rather than just staying at home.
Perhaps more Europeans prefer to travel to colder places during the winter months because they are closer to the popular ski resorts of the Alps. Holiday makers in France and Germany have a range of fabulous winter sports resorts practically on their doorstep, whereas British skiers have to travel much further for a pristine piste. This year, however, has been something of an exception: the remarkably freezing temperatures and high level of snowfall has helped the Scottish ski resorts to experience their best Christmas holiday season in 14 years: over the New Year weekend, more than 15,000 visitors enjoyed its snowy slopes.
The poll reveals that 43% of British respondents were keen to escape the cold and enjoy some guaranteed sunshine abroad. Even the credit crunch has not spelt doomsday for the travel industry, as many predicted it would. Travel companies have brought out a range of cheap deals, and by and large, they haven't done badly. Tour operators Thomson and First Choice ran a survey that found that despite the economic downturn, 80% of respondents expected to take the same number of holidays in 2010 as they had done in previous years, and a similar percentage said that the recession wouldn't impact their holiday plans. It seems that many Britons consider holidays a necessity, not a luxury.
But reaching these glorious sunshine destinations has been a real headache for millions of holiday makers, with the freezing temperatures causing widespread chaos right across Europe. During what was normally one of the busiest times of the year, major UK airports were closed, hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled altogether and thousands of passengers were trapped.
Perhaps this year, the 42% of respondents who, according to the online poll, don't like travelling during winter got it right. Winter in Britain has traditionally been a time for staying at home in front of the fire and grumbling about the weather. And this winter, there has been a lot to grumble about: the country has so far endured average temperatures of just -0.8C and some forecasters predict that if the bitter temperatures continue, Britain will have had its coldest winter for 300 years. Unfortunately, not even these stay-at-homes escaped disruption, as thick snow and ice have been crippling the UK road and rail networks, sometimes for days on end.