Spain holds off UK staycations to remain top in the popularity stakes

Spain’s popularity as the top summer destination for British holidaymakers show no sign of waning despite a surge in bookings for domestic breaks, new research reveals.

Turkey continues to languish as the tenth most popular country for the second year running amid security concerns while the US – in second place – shows no sign of being adversely affected by a ‘Trump slump’.

Analysis of holiday searches and bookings between October and the January peak period show interest in UK staycations for summer 2017 rising by almost a quarter over the same period last year.

And more than half of those considering UK holidays this summer are planning short trips of up to three days, up 8.8% increase from last year.

However, there has been a notable decline of 5.2% in the number of UK travellers planning a longer staycation of 12 days or more, although this proportion still accounts for 16.6%, according to the analysis by travel research firm Sojern.

France is knocked out of the top five destinations this year having been in third place last summer. Italy and Greece move up a spot and Portugal is a new entrant in the top five destinations for this summer.

Croatia remains the eighth most popular country to visit this year followed by Canada in ninth spot ahead of Turkey.

Sojern senior sales director, Spencer Davies, said: “From analysing over 350 million traveller profiles and billions of traveller intent signals we can see an early trend towards staycations this summer for UK travellers.

“We already see almost a 25% year-over-year increase in early planners opting for staycations in the UK this summer.

“Over half of these travellers are planning shorter trips less than three days – a trend which we have seen increase by almost 10% since last year.”

The UK continues to be the most popular destination for travellers from the US followed by Spain, Italy and Australia but France drops to become the seventh source country for inbound visitors, topped by Germany in sixth place, followed by Portugal, Greece and Canada.

But travellers from the UAE are showing less interest in travel to the US and the UK.

“With an uncertain political landscape in the US at the moment, this could be a factor in the decrease in travel intent,” Sojern said.

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