Blackpool 'more popular' than New York and Benidorm for British holidaymakers

Blackpool is among Dubai, London, and Edinburgh in the top five places to visit Credit: PA Images

Blackpool is now a more popular destination for British holidaymakers than New York, Benidorm, and Amsterdam.

The report from accommodation search website Trivago found people are choosing to not go abroad for their holidays, and instead opt for "staycations" in UK areas.

Trivago’s UK booking data showed that seven of the top 10 bookings destinations for Christmas 2023 are domestic locations, with Blackpool named as the fourth most popular place to visit in the world for British tourists.

It is also the only location on the list not classed as a city.

Britons are also choosing to celebrate the New Year in the UK, with Blackpool, London, and Edinburgh among the top five places to see in the start of 2024.

Tourist attractions include the pleasure beach, the Blackpool Tower, and the town's nightlife. Credit: PA Images

Amid wildfires across Europe and soaring air fares, domestic trips are proving popular again for 2024.

The group’s recently appointed Chief Executive Johannes Thomas said UK hotel bookings in the third and fourth quarters of the year are dominated by domestic destinations.

The rising cost of flights has been a big factor in the increasing popularity of domestic holidays.

He said: “The UK is a very domestic market. Part of that is down to airline tickets, which are significantly more expensive.

“Overall across the globe, it’s true for the US, Europe and the UK that people are going closer to home.

“They’re travelling shorter distances and choosing to stay shorter periods and that’s probably a sign of higher ticket prices.”

Mr Thomas’s comments come after Ryanair warned last week of more steep hikes in air fares this winter.

The Irish airline said its fares surged by 24% on average in its first half and are set for a further “mid-teens percentage” rise over the final three months of 2023.

Blackpool has been a holiday destination since as early as the mid-eighteenth century. Credit: PA Images

Mr Thomas said flight prices have increased by more than 30% since 2019, before the pandemic struck, but there is some hope of relief.

“Since the middle of 2023, we’ve seen prices plateauing,” he said.

The outlook for the first half of next year shows a similar trend, with more than half of the 10 most popular holiday destinations in the UK and Ireland for British travellers.

Germany-based Trivago, which is majority-owned by Expedia, said its bookings show that despite the trend towards staycations, international travel demand has continued to bounce back since the pandemic.

But the heatwaves and wildfires seen across Europe appear to be putting off some travellers, with searches on the site signalling a drop in demand for Greece and Italy.

Thousands of UK holidaymakers were on the Greek island of Rhodes when parts of it were devastated by wildfires in July.

Trivago said its bookings data also shows the cost pressures faced by consumers and moves to make savings on travel, with a fall in average price per night and length of stay.

But he said despite the cost crisis, “we see the appetite for travel remaining very high”.

“People feel a strong necessity to travel… and want to get out and experience the world,” he said.

The top 10 destinations for the first half of 2024, according to Trivago bookings:

  • 1. London

  • 2. Edinburgh

  • 3. Dubai

  • 4. Blackpool

  • 5. New York

  • 6. Benidorm

  • 7. Amsterdam

  • 8. Liverpool

  • 9. Manchester

  • 10. Dublin

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