Press Release   •   Jan 06, 2016 17:33 GMT

The British have long been known for exploration and that is to continue this Christmas with trailblazers setting new travel trends for the 2015 holiday season.

New figures from the experts at Expedia.co.uk have revealed several surprising destinations are set to make huge leaps as festive destinations this year.

Bookings to South Africa for this Christmas are up a massive 126% on the same time last year. Iceland (80%), Australia (67%) and Ireland (60%) are also set to experience substantial year-on-year spikes in the number of tourists visiting from the UK as Brits go in search of new December getaway hotspots[i].

One of Europe’s cheapest destinations, Czech Republic, is also seeing a big increase of travellers during the festive season, with the numbers of Brits booked in to visit the country is up a quarter (24%) on 2014.

New to the top 20 this year is distant India, which is seeing a 12% increase in their annual Christmas influx of UK holidaymakers in 2015, beating other popular destinations such as Thailand.

Table 1. Biggest increases in Christmas trips by UK holidaymakers year-on-year
1 South Africa 126%
2 Iceland 80%
3 Australia 67%
4 Ireland 60%
5 Denmark 45%
6 Austria 43%
7 Spain & Canary Islands 42%
8 Thailand 41%
9 United Kingdom 40%
10 Japan 30%
11 Portugal 29%
12 Italy 28%
13 Germany 27%
14 Czech Republic 24%
15 United Arab Emirates 24%
16 New Zealand 23%
17 Netherlands 18%
18 France 16%
19 United States of America 14%
20 India 12%

The overall most popular Christmas holiday destinations, however, remain relatively settled with home being the top choice again in 2015. The US, Germany, France, and Spain and the Canaries rounding out the top five, while Ireland is set to enter the top 10 this year.

Table 2. Top Christmas getaway destinations for UK holidaymakers
2014 2015
1 United Kingdom United Kingdom
2 United States of America United States of America
3 Germany Germany
4 France France
5 Spain & Canary Islands Spain & Canary Islands
6 Thailand Thailand
7 Italy Australia
8 Netherlands Italy
9 Australia Netherlands
10 Belgium Ireland

The figures, from Expedia.co.uk customer data, show that Christmas travellers are looking at increasingly different destinations to get off the beaten sleigh track. We’re trying to meet different people and, instead of keeping up with the Joneses, outdo them with unusual trips – even at Christmas.

Andy Washington, MD, UK/IE, Brand Expedia, said: “We often choose our travel destinations following advice from friends or inspired by pictures shared on social media and is quite common to meet a lot of fellow Brits while on holiday. It’s always interesting to know where people love to go, but we hope this ranking will give some ideas to try something different, discovering new travel destinations to visit.”

Expedia helps people to find the best deals for their individual travel choices, particularly booking their flight and accommodation at the same time, giving real savings.

Andy added: “By bundling travel, flight and hotel in one Christmas present, Expedia customers have more flexibility and benefit from amazing self-selected package deals with big discounts. This means you might be able to spend a little bit more on that special someone this Christmas.”

For more information on festive travel, visit Expedia.co.uk.


[i]Based on Expedia’s data for Sum of Room Count (Hotel Transactions)

About Expedia

Expedia is one of the world's leading full-service online travel agents offering access to hundreds of thousands of hotels including boutique hotels as well as major hotel brand names and access to over 400 airlines along with a wide selection of car hire and destination experiences. By combining choice with specialist tools to help refine these options, Expedia.co.uk helps travellers to find and create the trip that best matches their individual requirements. Now with the award-winning Expedia mobile app you can plan and book flights and hotels on the move. The Expedia app offers helpful tools to manage your trip including: airport terminal maps; hotel check out time and flight status notifications; maps to your hotel and a host of other features. Expedia.co.uk partners with loyalty programme Nectar in the UK enabling its customers to collect 200 Nectar points on flight only, hotel or car hire bookings and 1000 points on package purchases through www.expedia.co.uk.

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Expedia.co.uk is owned and operated by Expedia Inc.. The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia(r) Affiliate Network. (NASDAQ: EXPE) For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc. Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. (c) 2015 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST: 2029030-50

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