Spain, United States most popular tourist destinations for Brits
Spain remains the top destination for British travelers, leading the list of country searches while snagging four of the top five city and resort searches, says global flight comparison website Skyscanner.
The findings are part of its Travel Trends 2012 report, which is based on user flight searches. Coming in second is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and France.
In Asia, Thailand is still the hottest destination for British tourists, but Vietnam and the Philippines are fast catching travelers' attention too. Despite the floods of 2011, Bangkok was also the most popular Asian city for Brits, with the Thai capital rising one position to eighth place compared to 2010.
Of the 20 global destinations that Skyscanner identified as seeing the biggest growth in interest from United Kingdom visitors, Estonia topped the list, followed by Iraq.
"It is thought the Baltic country was boosted by both its attractiveness as a relatively unknown former Soviet country and by the choice of capital Tallinn as joint European Capital of Culture 2011," says the report.
As for Iraq's surprising 75.4 percent search growth year-on-year, the report says that while the country’s baseline is obviously low -- only around 30,000 searches –- travelers are now beginning to visit.
Over in Asia, Bangladesh Indonesia and Pakistan top the charts in terms of growth in interest, followed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia.
Top 20 searched-for countries in 2011 from the United Kingdom
- United States
- United Kingdom
Top searched-for cities and resorts from the United Kingdom in 2011
- New York
Top 20 countries showing greatest rise in interest from United Kingdom tourists year-on-year
- Estonia(+89.8 percent)
- Iraq(+75.4 percent)
- Cape Verde(+50.9 percent)
- Bangladesh(+36.4 percent)
- New Zealand(+35.4 percent)
- Indonesia(+33.4 percent)
- Tanzania(+32.9 percent)
- Croatia(+32.7 percent)
- Pakistan(+31.7 percent)
- Russia(+31.6 percent)
- Philippines(+31.2 percent)
- Uganda(+30.5 percent)
- Vietnam(+29.1 percent)
- Thailand(+28.9 percent)
- Ukraine(+28.8 percent)
- United Arab Emirates(+28.6 percent)
- Singapore(+28.3 percent)
- Cambodia(+28.1 percent)
- Colombia(+24.9 percent)
- Australia(+23.3 percent)
Expect Vietnam's tourism fortunes to rise futher in the future. Vietnam Airlines launched its first direct flight from London Gatwick to Ho Chi Minh City in December, a move that will reduce travel time by up to seven hours.
For the full report, in PDF form, visit Skyscanner.net.