Christmas Market Trips Increase in 2012

Many more British travellers are booking special Christmas Market packages offered by travel agents, according to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), a UK-based travel agency association.

There has been a 20 percent increase in bookings for overseas Christmas markets, compared to the same time last year, ABTA has reported.

Christmas markets are traditionally featured in Northern Europe and begin in mid to late November, with many continuing to remain open all through December and into the New Year. In recent years, many cities in the UK have started hosting these markets, which have become popular with UK holidaymakers wanting to experience an authentic and traditional Christmas.

Victoria Bacon, the head of communications at ABTA, said, ‘Christmas shopping can often be a chore but Christmas markets take you back to a time when everything about this time of year was magical. The growth in popularity of the markets also supports the wider trend we are seeing of holidaymakers seeking out more authentic and local experiences.

The markets, both here and overseas, are a wonderful opportunity for people to enjoy an early winter break, with many travel companies offering packages by air, rail, coach or even on a river cruise.’

Dresden, in Germany, hosts Germany’s oldest Christmas market, with stores selling the country’s traditional Christmas cake, Stollen. Prague, in the Czech Republic, has Christmas markets near the old town square. In Vienna, Austria, Christmas markets claim to offer the best coffee and cakes in Europe, at the Wurstelprater fairground.

Heidelburg, in Germany, is hosting a Christmas market in the centre of the medieval town, as does Birmingham in the UK, and Paris, France.