Dépêches

The Armada Takes to the Air

Dépèche transmise le 9 avril 2009 par PRNewswire

LONDONDERRY, Ireland, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Unlike the attempt that floundered in the inclement British weather in 1588, the latest invasion of England by the Spanish is likely to be much more successful, thanks to a combination of the increase in low cost air travel and the fall in the value of Sterling.

That's the prediction of VuelosBaratos Ltd., a company based in Londonderry, Northern Ireland that is quickly emerging as a player in the European online travel sector. The Company's Spanish website, which searches for cheap flights, receives over 800,000 unique visitors a month and it is uniquely placed to gain key insights into the travel habits of Spanish internet users.

A study of over 100,000 searches carried out by internet users for travel on the dates covering the main Easter period in Spain from 04 - 12 April showed that London was the most popular travel destination this year.

Flights to London were the most searched for above all domestic Spanish and European destinations. In fact, more than 16% of all searches conducted on VuelosBaratos for non-Spanish destinations were for London. 30% more Spaniards sought flights to London than the next most popular European destination of Paris.

Last year at Easter the vast majority of searches conducted by Spaniards on the VuelosBaratos portal were primarily for domestic destinations with 15 of the twenty most popular destinations in Spain itself. The top two destinations were Barcelona and Madrid and the most sought-after European destination for Easter 2008 was Amsterdam.

In Spain the bank holiday days are traditionally Holy Thursday and Good Friday so the beginning of the influx of Spanish tourists is already under way. 36% of the searches for flights on VuelosBaratos were looking for departures on April 09 and returning on Easter Sunday to take complete advantage of the long weekend.

The company believes the trend this year is for European travellers to seek to take advantage of the strong Euro and weak Sterling making the UK in general, and London in particular, a much more attractive prospect over the usual alternative destinations.

Gary Porter, Marketing Director of VuelosBaratos said: "We were quite surprised by the change in the most popular destinations this year. Usually because of the improving weather at this time of year many Spaniards prefer to stay at home. The choice of London as the number one target destination would appear to me to be down to the dramatic decline in the value of Sterling against the Euro.

"By coming to the UK Europeans are essentially benefiting from a 25% discount. We started to notice the improving popularity of London just before Christmas. There is a long weekend in December and London was also the most popular European destination then. I suppose many Spaniards took advantage of the favourable exchange rate and well-publicised mark-downs on the UK high street to get in some bargain Christmas shopping."

Mr Porter points out that, in spite of the economic crisis facing Spain, traffic to the Company's website looking for flights over the Easter period is up 40% on the same period last year. He went on to explain that the Company may be seeing a benefit in so far as the flip-side of the downturn is that people are digging a little deeper to find the best deals before committing funds to a particular reservation.

VuelosBaratos also has sites in France, Italy, Portugal, Holland, Finland and most of South America. Mr Porter confirmed that among their portfolio of sites London was also the most searched-for destination in Italy, Portugal and Finland.

About VuelosBaratos Ltd

VuelosBaratos launched in 2005 and quickly grew to be one of the leading on-line travel portals in Spain. Figures from Nielsen Net Ratings showed that VuelosBaratos was the most visited independent flight-search engine in Spain in 2007. That success has enabled the company to grow organically into many other European and South American countries.

CONTACT: For further information or queries contact: Gary Porter,Marketing Director, Tel: +44(0)2871-368630, E-mail:

PRNewswire

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