Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between the UK and mainland Europe, is expecting its busiest December ever with over 370,000 booked to travel during the Christmas period.
This represents a two per cent increase across the month.
The rise is driven by an eight per cent surge in sales of inbound visitors to London, as European visitors take advantage of the great value exchange rate to indulge in a seasonal shopping spree.
The Christmas markets in France and Belgium continue to attract UK travellers to the continent, and as Disneyland Paris celebrates its 25th anniversary year, a 22 per cent rise is expected on Eurostar’s direct service to the park over the holidays.
Festive trips to the slopes are growing in popularity, with an 18 per cent increase in passengers choosing the ease and comfort of a high-speed rail journey over plane to the Alps.
Friday December 29th is the peak day in the Christmas period, with over 35,000 expected to travel across the Channel for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
This is closely followed by Friday December 22nd, when over 34,000 are expected to make the getaway ahead of Christmas.
Mary Walsh, director of communications, Eurostar, commented: “Throughout the year we’ve seen an increase in travellers coming to London from the continent.
“This trend has continued into December as visitors cash in on the favourable exchange rate and combine retail therapy with a city break.”