The 10 Most Visited Countries by UK Tourists in 2018

The UK's Most Popular Destination - Health Service Discounts

When it comes to travelling, no expense is spared in ensuring we get some much needed sun. Whether it’s in the height of Summer or a Winter escape, we’re always keen for a getaway at anytime of the year.

Thanks to some interesting new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), we’re able to get an insight into the behaviours of UK travellers, including where they’re going, when they go and how much they spend.

Overall people are travelling more and more, whether this be abroad or choosing a staycation getaway closer to home. Travellers are wanting more from their travel experiences than ever before and as demand increases, so does the spend.

The spend by UK tourists has risen year on year, increasing by 1% to a record £45.4 billion, compared to previous years. Back in 2012 the average spend abroad was £55 per day, whereas in 2018 this went up to £60. Changing economies, inflation and the general cost of living is increasing, which is why it’s important to save where you can, particularly when it comes to travel.

But where are most UK travelers spending their money? Staycations are proving increasingly popular, but for most, nothing can beat jetting off abroad, often to somewhere much sunnier and hotter than the UK.

As expected, Spain tops the most popular destination list, with 15.62 million UK residents visiting in 2018. Spain had almost double the amount of visitors as second place France, showing it’s still the destination of choice for most UK residents.

The top 10 most visited countries by UK tourists in 2018

Ranking Country Visitors from UK
1 Spain 15.62 Million
2 France 8.56 Million
3 Italy 4.16 Million
4 USA 3.47 Million
5 Ireland 3.42 Million
6 Portugal 2.87 Million
7 Germany 2.82 Million
8 Netherlands 2.72 Million
9 Poland 2.67 Million
10 Greece 2.35 Million

Despite the increase in spending and the continued increase in UK residents flocking overseas for some time away, 2018 actually saw a decrease in the number of trips abroad (71,733,383 compared with 72,772,096 in 2017). The 1.4% decrease compared with the previous year could well be a sign that staycations are gradually becoming a more popular choice for many. Issues such as the uncertainty of Brexit may play its own role in deciding where UK residents travel to.

Length of Stay

According to the data, the average UK resident spends 9.8 nights away, which could suggest that we’re seeing the demise of the standard week away or the fortnightly stay. City breaks are becoming more and more popular, but we’re still yearning for an extended break, it’s almost as if 2 weeks is too much, but 7 days isn’t quite enough.

Looking to plan your own trip away that’s longer than a week? Maybe it’s somewhere you’ve never ever travelled to? No matter where you’re thinking of, or how many places you visit during your trip, there’s plenty of popular destinations to choose from, as well as great savings on a variety of travel, both at home and abroad.

Click on the banner below to become a Health Service Discounts member and start saving with our discounts!

Most Popular Destinations - Health Service Discounts

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