As travel restrictions ease, Spain is expected to lead 2022 bookings, with Canada and Turkey also in the top 10 most popular destinations.
Pre-departure tests to England were scrapped today, making travel much easier. Hooray! ABTA has revealed the top 10 destinations that people are planning to visit this year, which show that travellers crave both far-flung, bucket list destinations and firm favourites closer to home.
Number one on people’s travel wish list is Spain, with 29.3 per cent of respondents saying they plan to visit in 2022. Spain has long been the UK’s favourite holiday destination and usually attracts over 18 million of us each year.
Moving up to second place – and topping the list of long-haul destinations – is the USA, which reopened its borders to UK tourists in November 2021. Almost 1 in 5 (18.1 per cent) of people plan to travel there this year, particularly to New York and Florida.
Other popular long-haul destinations for this year include Australia (5.1 per cent) and Canada (4.5 per cent), both up two places from last year to eighth and ninth respectively. Their increased popularity points to two trends ABTA expects to see in 2022: holidays of a lifetime and reconnecting with family and friends abroad.
The classic European destination of France (17.8 per cent), Italy (16.4 per cent) and Greece (10.1 per cent) round off the top five destinations, with Portugal (8.7 per cent) and Germany (8.2 per cent) remaining in sixth and seventh place. Turkey (4.0 per cent) has moved up two places to be the 10th most popular destination this year, perhaps due to the value for money it currently offers UK holidaymakers as the Turkish lira has fallen against the pound.
From January 7, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to take a pre-departure test when returning to the UK. The day two test will change from PCR to lateral flow on January 9. To help people book and travel with confidence, ABTA is advising holidaymakers to book with an ABTA member. Research shows that people are 30 per cent more likely to use a travel professional now than before the pandemic, primarily for their guidance with Covid-related travel requirements (47 per cent) followed by the security of a package holiday (46 per cent).
“January is typically when people start to plan their holidays for the year ahead, so we’d encourage anyone who is thinking of booking a holiday to speak with an ABTA Member,” said Graeme Buck, director of communications at ABTA.
“Whether they’re looking to visit one of these popular destinations or somewhere else entirely, our members are experts at finding the best holiday for their customers – and at a competitive price.
“They’ll also be there to look after their customers every step of the way, from doing all the research to keeping them up-to-date with any restrictions or changes they need to be aware of, so they can book and travel with confidence.”
Read ABTA’s comprehensive advice for travelling during the pandemic here.