Analysis shows global interest in “destination UK” has remained strong, with major cities and regions across the UK experiencing significant double-digit growth
This growth has been driven mainly by travellers from the Far East, with demand from Chinese travellers rising by almost 160% year-on-year last year.
This was also supported by visitors from Japan (+30% year-on-year), Malaysia (+45% year-on-year), Korea (+20% year-on-year) and Thailand (more than +30% year-on-year).
Irene Roberts, director of market management, Expedia Group: “Last year was clearly a year of growth, with greater numbers of travellers choosing to visit the UK and experience more diverse locations. Our data suggest that we continue to work successfully with our lodging partners to provide access to valuable international customers.”
Whilst London naturally enjoyed the strongest demand amongst tourists (seeing positive growth of almost 15% year-on-year), other UK cities have also witnessed increased visitor numbers.
Birmingham and Cardiff grew 15%, with Edinburgh and Glasgow both experiencing 10% year-on-year growth. Edinburgh remained the second most popular destination by market share after London for tourists visiting the UK. From a regional demand perspective, the biggest year-on-year growth was experienced in Essex, East Anglia, West Midlands, North Wales, Lake District and Cumbria. Meanwhile Cornwall, Devon and the Scottish Highlands saw an uplift in average daily rate in what was generally a flat market for the category.
Ms Roberts added: “The significant rise in demand from valuable Far East visitors is great news for hoteliers, lengthier booking windows and increased on-property spend enable them to focus their time on maximising bookings during shoulder periods. Our proposition of providing hotel partners with a global reach through continued investment in technology and marketing is helping capture those visitors and drive conversions.”