England and the rest of the home nations may be out of Euro 2008 but Brit bookings to Austria and Switzerland are up by 122%.
After the British invasion of Moscow a couple of weeks ago for the Champions League Final, we all thought that would be the last foreign footy jaunt of the season for hardened fans.
However, according to new research released today by flight search company Skyscanner, Brits are still heading to the summer’s big football tournament, Euro 2008, in their droves with over one million flight searches to Austria and Switzerland since November last year – despite England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland failing to qualify.
According to Skyscanner, thanks to optimistic English footy fans, in the lead-up to England’s crucial European Cup qualifier against Croatia back in November, flight queries to the Austrian cities of Vienna and Klagenfurt were on the increase with one in five (18%) of all searches to the Euro 2008 home nations involving the cities hosting the first of the Group B matches.
In fact, even in the days following England’s bitter defeat, searches to Austria and Switzerland increased dramatically with Skyscanner reporting an increase of 61% in searches to the two nations immediately after England crashed out, and a staggering increase of 122% in the days following.
So while wives and girlfriends across the country were relishing the prospect of a football-free summer and trips to far-flung destinations away from Europe, the barmy army had other ideas with at least one in every hundred searches on Skyscanner in November involving destinations in Austria and Switzerland.
Getting in on the Goal Action
Over the last five months, interest in flights to Austria and Switzerland has continued to soar and even now with just a few days to go before the opening ceremony, Skyscanner is still experiencing an influx of searches for flights to Euro 2008 match destinations.
In the last month, over 166,000 people have searched for flights to Switzerland and Austria to capture some of the football action – that’s an increase of over 300% on last year’s flight searches to the same destinations.
No Boycott for the Brits
Gareth Williams, Chief Executive of Skyscanner, comments:
“The search levels for flights to Euro 2008 are unprecedented. This time last year we were bracing ourselves for an influx of users searching for flights to the tournament, but when England crashed out we assumed that Brits would boycott Austria and Switzerland altogether – that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.
"We have continued to see a steady increase in flight searches to the host nations for the duration of the tournament and it’s just proof that with or without England, Brits still want to be part of this summer’s football action.
"Whether you’re looking for flights to the tournament, or you want travel inspiration to avoid Austria and Switzerland altogether, June is going to be a busy month for airlines across Europe. With this in mind, we’d advise travellers to shop around. Using Skyscanner, with just one single click you can find the most convenient and cost-effective flights whatever your destination this summer, so get online and bag yourself a bargain.”