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Trips abroad 'still at an all-time high'

Brits may be straining under the effects of the credit crunch, but stag parties and tourists are refusing to let that put the brakes on their travel plans, it would seem.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics last week showed that the number of overseas trips made by UK holidaymakers was down six per cent in March to 66 million, compared with 70.2 million during the same period last year.

However, according to Abta - The Travel Association, these figures still mark a significant increase on the number of foreign holidays taken in 1998, when just 50.8 million Brits took a break abroad.

Spokesperson for the organisation Sean Tipton said: "Historically speaking, we are seeing all-time highs for the number of trips we are taking abroad."

He added that the recession was bound to result in less Brits venturing abroad, but pointed out that the figures do not account for the late booking market.

Mr Tipton claimed that this market is likely to be particularly strong this year as people delay booking their holidays until they are certain that their jobs and finances are secure.ADNFCR-2122-ID-19176574-ADNFCR