The UK ranks second among European outbound markets searching for summer holidays on the continent – and the rates reflect pre-pandemic levels.
Research by Sojern – a travel digital marketing solutions specialist – found that almost a quarter of searches for summer holidays were from France, followed by the UK at 19% and Italy at 12%.
This pattern has not changed much in comparison to 2019. It also found a “significant shift” towards longer trip durations than in 2019.
However, Sojern noted how inbound travel to the UK has been hit by the tightening of border restrictions.
Its research is based on more than 350 million traveller profiles and billions of travel intent signals across Europe.
Its latest update said: “Travellers from France, the UK and Italy are showing the highest levels of regional travel intent for this summer.
“In 2019 almost 60% of regional summer flight searches were made by France, Italy and the UK.
“Similarly, this year around 55% of travel intent comes from the same three origin countries.”
It added: “Spain continues to be a popular destination…with 46% of regional flight bookings “Greece has also seen a growth in confidence, with 14% of regional flight bookings.
“This makes Greece the second most popular country that European travellers have confidence in booking for this summer.
“Portugal is another destination which has shown a growth in confidence.”
Conversely, flight bookings to the UK have dropped from 12% in 2019 to 3% in 2021 because of lockdowns and quarantine regulations.
Sojern also speculates that the longer trip durations “could reflect the fact that many have not taken a trip abroad in a long time due to the pandemic, or have holiday carried over from work”.
In 2019, 69% of hotel stays were being planned for up to three days – now that duration has decreased to 37%.
Meanwhile, trips of four days or more have almost doubled in popularity from 31% to 61%.