The British have long had a love affair with holidays abroad, from the early days of Spanish package holidays to more adventurous destinations around the world. The advent of budget-friendly air travel has made it even easier to say bye-bye to Blighty and while the financial crisis has encouraged some to holiday closer to home, many are still opting to spend their holidays abroad.
A recent study published by UK-based travel agent Bolsover Cruise Club compared Britons’ most searched for holiday destinations in 2013 and 2017. The findings show how British holiday-goers’ preferences have changed in recent years, with some destinations growing in popularity and new destinations appearing on the top 10 list.
One of the most obvious trends in British travel choices is the tendency to choose destinations ever further away from home. Once the thing of exclusive travel brochures, the exotic destination of Bali clocked a 179% increase since 2013. The Indonesian island combines blissful beaches, mind-blowing coral reefs and epic volcanic landscape.
Likewise, already popular destinations such as Cape Verde saw a growth in interest in 2017 compared to previous years. The archipelago is located in the Atlantic, off the west coast of Africa, and boasts a unique culture blending Portuguese and African Creole elements.
When it comes to Brits abroad, another new trend has been to explore less commonly visited European cities. Places such as Reykjavik in Iceland, Budapest in Hungary and Dubrovnik in Croatia have grown in popularity over the past few years.
No doubt cheap European flights have played a part, making it easier for British travellers to explore these up-and-coming cities with direct flights at affordable prices.
As of mid-2017 it seemed that travellers had not been put off by recent waves of anti-tourism measures and protests in Barcelona. The Catalan capital overtook Amsterdam to become the most searched for travel destination with some 522,800 British residents taking to Google to look up Barcelona travel.
However, the end of 2017 saw a combination of terror attacks and political instability which had a noticeable effect on the local tourism industry at the time. Only time will tell whether this dip in popularity will prove momentary or whether travellers will adopt new destinations more permanently, with the likes of Lisbon growing in popularity.