Interest Grows In ‘Destination UK’ For International And Domestic Travellers, Says Expedia

Data reveals rise in hotel demand from overseas markets with Asian visitors fueling increase
 New search data from Expedia shows a significant increase in interest of both international and domestic travellers looking to stay in the UK this year.

In particular, searches early this year show increased interest in the UK for the months of November and December for domestic travellers when compared to the same period last year, and a peak in international travellers searching for breaks in April, coinciding with the Easter holidays.

Searches for visits to the UK were highest from the USA, Germany, Canada, Sweden, France, and Italy, while top destinations include London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Yorkshire, Liverpool, Glasgow and Wales.

The latest data from the Expedia group also reveals a healthy rise in hotel demand from international visitors to the UK last year. The findings, from 2016 – January through December** – show it was travellers from Asia, Canada, Denmark, Belgium and Iceland that fueled the year-on-year increase, bolstered by strong demand from the USA.

Thailand showed the largest year-on-year increase for inbound visits to the UK, up by almost 50%; while demand from Hong Kong saw a rise of nearly 40% during 2016. Hotel demand from the USA increased by 25% year-on-year with the average daily rate (ADR) increasing to £145 in 2016, and visitors choosing to book their UK break an average of 40 days out. Expedia’s data has been reinforced by recent VisitBritain figures that show more overseas visitors travelled to the UK in 2016 than ever before.**

According to the 2016 figures, UK mobile demand – app and mobile web – was driven by visitors from the Hong Kong (up by almost 65%) and South Korea, China and India (all up by around 70%); visitors from several European countries, such as Belgium, Austria and Spain, also drove a healthy increase in year-on-year mobile demand.

While mobile demand for the nation’s capital saw a steady year-on-year rise, it was travellers to both the North East and West of England who led the change in increased mobile demand across the UK, up by nearly 70% year-on-year, while Oxford and Blackpool saw a rise of more than 60%, and East Anglia 65% in 2016. Travellers to Scotland who booked on mobile increased by more than 45% when compared to 2015, with bookings made over 30 days ahead on average.

Julie Cheneau, Expedia’s director of market management for the UK & Ireland, said: “Last year was clearly a year of growth, with our data suggesting that we are successfully working with our hotel partners to provide access to valuable international customers.

“We saw a spike in demand from the US following the Brexit result, likely due to a range of factors including a weaker pound, coupled with longer booking windows, which is great news for hoteliers – lengthier booking windows enable them to focus their time on maximising bookings during shoulder periods.

“Our proposition of providing hotel partners with a global reach through our investment in technology and marketing is helping capture those visitors and drive conversions.