Spain, United States most popular tourist destinations for Brits

Spain, United States most popular tourist destinations for Brits

Skyscanner's latest figures also show increased interest in Asia
Although Asian destinations are popular, Brits search for the United States and Spain more than anywhere else.

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

  1. Spain
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. Turkey
  7. Germany
  8. Portugal
  9. Greece
  10. Cyprus
  11. Ireland
  12. Australia
  13. Thailand
  14. Netherlands
  15. Poland
  16. India
  17. Switzerland
  18. Croatia
  19. Canada
  20. Morocco

Top searched-for cities and resorts from the United Kingdom in 2011

  1. Malaga
  2. Alicante
  3. Tenerife
  4. New York
  5. Palma
  6. London
  7. Faro
  8. Bangkok
  9. Dalaman
  10. Barcelona
  11. Amsterdam
  12. Paris
  13. Dublin
  14. Ibiza
  15. Orlando
  16. Lanzarote
  17. Rome
  18. Larnaca
  19. Paphos
  20. Berlin

Top 20 countries showing greatest rise in interest from United Kingdom tourists year-on-year

  1. Estonia(+89.8 percent)
  2. Iraq(+75.4 percent)
  3. Cape Verde(+50.9 percent)
  4. Bangladesh(+36.4 percent)
  5. New Zealand(+35.4 percent)
  6. Indonesia(+33.4 percent)
  7. Tanzania(+32.9 percent)
  8. Croatia(+32.7 percent)
  9. Pakistan(+31.7 percent)
  10. Russia(+31.6 percent)
  11. Philippines(+31.2 percent)
  12. Uganda(+30.5 percent)
  13. Vietnam(+29.1 percent)
  14. Thailand(+28.9 percent)
  15. Ukraine(+28.8 percent)
  16. United Arab Emirates(+28.6 percent)
  17. Singapore(+28.3 percent)
  18. Cambodia(+28.1 percent)
  19. Colombia(+24.9 percent)
  20. 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