The top 10 most-searched-for flight destinations by Britons for summer 2021 holidays have been revealed in a new report by Skyscanner – and it’s London that’s number one, followed by Faro in Portugal, Dalaman in Turkey and Malaga in Spain.
The report, called The New World of Travel, is an exhaustive analysis of travel trends that brings together ‘extensive travel data and expert opinions’. To determine the most popular destinations for next summer, Skyscanner looked at the places Britons were searching for the most for return economy class flights between August 18 and September 18, 2020, for travel from the UK between June 1 to August 31, 2021.
The rest of the top 10 comprises Alicante (fifth), Palma (sixth), Islamabad (seventh), Bangkok (eighth), Ibiza (ninth) and New York (10th).
The top 10 most-searched-for destinations by Britons for summer 2021 have been revealed – and it’s London that’s number one
The report also said that budget airlines are going to power the recovery in travel – and the winners in the long-term will be airlines, regardless of size, that put customers first, according to Hugh Aitken, VP of flights for Skyscanner.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline Travel, he said: ‘Low-cost carriers will be key to shaping the recovery of air travel, which is largely due to their financial structure, and in part shaped by travellers’ perception of risk – especially in the UK, where a high volume of holiday travel has traditionally been to Europe via these low-cost carriers, who are now household names.
‘Some of Europe’s major low-cost airlines have led the way in adopting safety precautions and sharing transparent and clear policies to reinforce consumer confidence.
‘Trust is the key element for any travel provider in the recovery. Larger airlines who prioritise consumer trust and are seen to be taking action to be transparent, understand their customers and protect their priorities will fare far better when business picks up.
‘Those providers who put the customer first, communicated clearly and consistently – prioritising peace of mind when the pandemic hit have built confidence collateral that will stand them in good stead longer term.
‘Customer confidence will remain lower than in 2019 for some time, and those who can say they acted with a traveller-first mindset during 2020 will be favoured in 2021 and beyond.’
Skyscanner looked at the places Britons were searching for the most between August 18 and September 18, 2020, for flights from the UK between June 1 to August 31, 2021. Faro in Portugal, pictured, is the second most-searched-for airport
The third most-searched-for flight destination by Britons on Skyscanner last month for travel next summer is the Dalaman area in Turkey, pictured
Malaga, pictured, is the fourth most-searched-for flight destination on Skyscanner by Britons for summer 2021
BRITONS’ MOST SEARCHED DESTINATIONS FOR SUMMER 2021
10. New York
He continued: ‘While no airline has been immune to the impact that Covid-19 has had on the travel sector, low-cost carriers have arguably been better insulated compared to some of their full-service carrier competitors.
‘Low-cost carriers’ low margins and agile business approach, combined with short-haul, domestic and regional travel currently being a driving force for recovery, mean they’re well-positioned.’
The report also gleaned from Skyscanner’s data that female travellers are more inclined to book a holiday than male (55 per cent) and those with children more likely to book a break than those without (54 per cent).
Extended getaways are the order of the day, according to the travel site, with 35 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed in a poll it conducted saying they would use their first holiday to take a long trip.
And 14 per cent said they wanted to use their first trip since lockdown to explore new places, with another 14 per cent saying they wanted their first trip to be about ‘getting away from it all’.
And the travel website said that the flexible attitude adopted by travel providers during 2020 is one that has been ‘wholly embraced’ in the UK, with 11 per cent of holidaymakers departing less than a week after booking.
It added: ‘With some airline change fees currently waived or greatly reduced, and an increase in interest for flexible tickets on Skyscanner, jetting off at short notice will be a continuing trend well into 2021.’
Skyscanner revealed that the UK is ‘tentatively returning to travel’.
Total August searches for international travel in 2020 and 2021 ‘were only 10 per cent less than the monthly average for 2019, reflecting the pent-up wanderlust that we all know is out there’.
Skyscanner added that searches and intent levels in the UK are ‘neither the highest nor lowest of all the major countries analysed’.
Jo McClintock, Skyscanner’s brand director, said: ‘We are seeing a highly responsive UK travel community at present, rapidly adapting to the continuously evolving landscape and changing travel restrictions.
‘Searches and bookings are lower than 2019 levels, but we are seeing growing interest in 2021 travel. July is the most booked month for travel in 2021 indicating a desire to recreate the postponed events and summer plans abroad.
‘What we are seeing is that mainstay favourites such as New York, Bangkok and the most popular Spanish destinations are back in the top searches for longer-term planning, revealing a faith that travellers will be able to return safely again.’
Jo McClintock, Skyscanner’s brand director, said ‘mainstay favourites such as New York are back in the top searches for longer-term planning’
The Duke of Sussex, a co-founder of Travalyst along with Skyscanner, said travel can and should be a catalyst for good
Looking at global travel trends, Skyscanner said searches for one-way travel ‘continue to trend upward, with domestic travel intent increasing globally against a backdrop of changing travel restrictions’.
It added: ‘Amid ongoing uncertainty, travellers around the world are also looking to get away in much shorter timeframes than ever before.
‘Search patterns for domestic, regional and international flights indicate that recovery will be multi-speed, tied to the global economy and driven by low-cost carriers. At the same time, the decline in business travel revenues for other airlines calls for a rethink of this part of the industry. ‘
Skyscanner’s research also reveals that sustainable travel is no longer a priority.
However, the Duke of Sussex, a co-founder of Travalyst along with Skyscanner, said that travel can and should be a catalyst for good.
He explained: ‘Recovery is vital for the security and prosperity of millions of communities, but recovery cannot just mean a return to the way things used to be.
‘Travel can and should be a catalyst for good. It can be sustainable, ethical and even regenerative. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that the industry that is reborn out of this pandemic is one that gives back more than it takes away.’
Skyscanner added: ‘The sector has a unique opportunity to redesign old travel patterns for the benefit of local communities, the environment and tourists alike. Skyscanner is pioneering new ways to encourage more conscious and meaningful trips as the new shape of travel emerges.’
Visits to the Skyscanner website, owned by Trip.com Group Ltd, are down by 60 to 70 per cent due to the pandemic’s impact on travel demand, Aitken told Reuters.
And the International Air Transport Association said passenger travel demand was down 79.8 per cent in July from a year earlier and forecasts it will take until 2024 for travel to return to pre-crisis levels.