The number of people planning to spend Christmas away in long-haul locations is on the rise, according to a study by travel search site Skyscanner.

Flight searches to destinations such as China are up 55% on last year, while interest in traditional winter sun favourite Spain is declining.

Singapore is also proving popular with searches up 43%, while Sri Lanka, a long term favourite and popular alternative to Thailand, is up 21% this Christmas.

Other long-haul points showing significant increases in flight searches include Australia (19%), UAE (17%) and next year’s World Cup host Brazil (14%).

Iceland is showing the greatest increase in searches over the festive period, up by 95%

Spain is still the most popular destination overall for Britons this Christmas, although searches are down 3% year on year.

A Skyscanner spokeswoman said: “While Spain remains the most popular destination, we can see that British holidaymakers are becoming more adventurous with their travels, heading to more exotic locations such as Sri Lanka and Singapore for the festive break.”

The top five destinations with the biggest increase in searches for holidays this Christmas are:

  1. Iceland  95%

  2. China 55%

  3. Netherlands 35%

  4. Singapore 26%

  5. Sri Lanka 21%