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UK remains top destination for British holidaymakers

Written by editor

Holidays at home top the preferences of British travellers for a second year running, according to research revealed at World Travel Market London today (Monday 5 November).

In the show’s annual survey of 1,025 British holidaymakers, almost a third (27%) said they had holidayed in the UK, England, Wales or Scotland over the last year, beating perennial continental favourite Spain (18%) into second place.

The top-five destinations for British holidaymakers were completed by the USA (12%), Italy (9%) and France (8%), with all five destinations remaining in the same positions as last year.

The last 12 months have seen holidays in Britain soar alongside temperatures in the country, but despite 2018 being the joint hottest summer since records began, only
14 per cent of those who answered ‘yes’ when asked if they would holiday in Britain in 2019 said the good weather played a part in them booking.

Impending Brexit may be playing a role in people’s 2019 holiday decisions according to the poll: 42% of those asked said they thought Brexit would impact their holiday choices for next year, while almost a third (31%) expressed worries over holidaying in the EU after Brexit Day on March 29, 2019. Almost half of those asked (47%) meanwhile believed holidays will be more expensive in a post-Brexit world, while the potential need for a post-Brexit EU visa for British travellers also proved to be worrying according to the survey. Almost six in ten (58%) said they would reconsider travelling to the EU if they had to pay for a visa.

Potential fears over Brexit may also be influencing British travellers thoughts when it comes to their holidays in 2019 and beyond. When asked which destinations they would like to visit in future, perennial favourites Italy (57%), Greece (47%) and the USA (44) took the top three positions, with the more exotic Japane (32%) and Cuba (23%) making

World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson said: “It seems as though the staycation will not go away with the UK again being the number one holiday destination for British travellers. With the other top-five countries remaining the same, it may be assumed we have a holidaymaking public that is largely conservative in its choice of holiday destinations, but Brexit may change that as traditional European favourites are losing ground to further-flung places such as Japan and Cuba.”

eTN is a media partner for WTM.