What will life be like after Brexit? If current holiday booking patterns are anything to go by, it’ll be much more international with a clearer focus on life outside the continent of Europe.
Indeed, even if your holiday confusion levels are somewhere between the abundance of Government Travel Advice and my recent blog on Brexit Travel Advice, the simple fact is we, as a travelling nation, appear on the cusp of spreading our wings further afield.
At Nomadic Thoughts we have witnessed changes in our clients’ desire to travel further over the past year. This goes together with the Office of National Statistics’ figures highlighting an upturn in holiday habits focusing on new destinations. Destinations that now answer the mood swing towards more authentic experiences, sustainable tourism practices and as ever, good value for money.
Speaking to our long-haul suppliers there is a real feeling of excitement across a considerable basket of destinations. We notice that clients who once wanted regular, traditional trips to the continent of Europe are now embracing further-afield, new-fangled destinations.
This fact has been echoed by travel industry heavyweights such as UNWTO and ABTA, who have consistently reported a wider trend towards non-European holiday locations. Affordable flight routes, well-managed/promoted destination initiatives and an ever-expanding upscale in the quality of holiday facilities (from boutique hotels to accessibility to under-discovered wilderness areas) are attracting British and international travellers away from well-loved ‘go-to’ European destinations on a scale never seen before.
For example, with a 29% rise in trips abroad from the UK (from 56,537,596 in 2012, to 72,772,096 in 2017) the USA continues to be the most popular non-European destination for British travellers, with 3.4 million visitors spending an average of 13 nights per trip.
Mexico (480,000), Morocco (479,000), UAE (430,000) and Iceland (242,000) have seen significant rises in UK holiday visitors too. Whereas the potential for destinations such as India (237,000), Egypt (207,000), South Africa (157,000), Canada (141,000) and Australia (124,000) are examples of a relatively untapped tourism market. A market that, one would imagine, will benefit further if a new-found UK business landscape encourages trade with non-EU aligned destinations.
At Nomadic Thoughts we have noticed a considerable upturn in interest, as well as visits, to some of our favourite long-haul destinations. For example, Sri Lanka (65,000), Japan (47,000), and New Zealand (46,000).
At the bottom rung, even the least popular countries for UK visitors have seen an upturn in interest from Nomadic Thoughts’ clients recently. For example, Ethiopia (ranked 138th), Botswana (139th), Nicaragua (137th) and El Salvador (at the bottom 158th).
My advice – switch the politicians off and get your travel diaries out. It still is one heck of a beautiful world out there. Especially when you bin the psyche and red tape of all things Brexit.