In our new 2012 Travel Trends Report, we reveal that Estonia, Iraq, Cape Verde, Bangladesh, and Russia are all emerging destinations likely to see a significant rise in interest from UK tourists over the coming year.
Skyscanner has over 15 million users a month, and we analysed our vast data on user flight searches to produce the report on global travel trends. Overall, Spain remains the most popular choice for British holidaymakers for a fourth consecutive year, however in the ‘Destinations of the Future’ section of the report, Skyscanner highlights a number of more exotic locations.
Destinations of the Future
Estonia is the highest climbing destination with a search increase of 90% year-on-year. This is largely attributed to the increased publicity the country has received following Tallinn’s stint as a European Capital of Culture in 2011. Find flights to Estonia
Following years of conflict, Iraq looks to be gaining more visitors from the UK in 2012. Whilst search volumes remain low, the country saw an increase of 75% in interest, likely to be mainly Iraqi nationals visiting. However, the country has also been stepping up its marketing efforts as a destination for cultural and religious tourism with its second appearance at London’s World Travel Market. A number of travel companies are now also offering adventure tours to Iraq for trekking, biking and backcountry skiing. Find flights to Iraq
3. Cape Verde
With a rise in 51% year-on-year, The Cape Verde Islands, which lie off the west coast of Africa, are becoming an increasingly attractive winter sun alternative to the Canaries that lie further north. Find flights to Cape Verde.
Bangladesh, a country normally overshadowed by its bigger, better known neighbour India, saw the fourth highest increase in interest with a 36% rise in popularity. 2011 was the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence which is thought to have led to increased visitors, especially those of Bangladeshi origin. Find flights to Bangladesh
A 32% increase in interest for Russia suggests that the world’s biggest country will get a bigger share of tourists over the coming year. With major sporting events looming (Winter Olympics in 2014, and the World Cup Football in 2018), Russia’s profile as a tourist destination is set to rise substantially. Find flights to Russia
Who’s coming to the UK in 2012?
With the 2012 Olympics set to put the London on the world stage, the UK is expecting a big influx of foreign visitors. Japan tops the table of those countries showing the greatest increase in flight searches to London for the Olympic period, with a 300% rise. Visitors from The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland follow closely behind.
Who’s losing tourists?
At the other end of the scale, Egypt faces a tough year for tourism with the unrest of the Arab Spring still fresh in the minds of the travelling public. Poland saw a 12% fall in interest, likely due to the economic downturn in the UK which has seen many Polish migrant workers return home. Bulgaria also saw a 12% decrease in interest, although the Bulgarian Tourist Board’s new campaign – ‘Magic Lives Here’ – hopes to increase UK visitors from 300k to 500k by 2020.
Download the full report here: Skyscanner Travel Trends 2011 Report