On The Go Tours has analysed data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2018 Tourism Highlights Report and crunched the numbers from the last decade to decipher the fastest growing destinations for UK tourists and it showed surprising results.

Brits have been holiday-ing close to home with 14 out of the 20 fastest growing holiday destinations are European countries.

Romania takes the crown as the fastest growing destination for UK tourists, with an average yearly growth of 24%, and a  total increase of 638% between 2007 and 2017. Romania’s UK tourism figures began to peak after 2008, with figures jumping from 48,000 visitors to 70,000 within a year and increasing rapidly to 347,000 in 2017.

Lithuania follows in second place, growing by 187% over the last decade and peaking in 2017. After a slight trough in 2009, UK tourist figures have been on the up, with an average 12% yearly increase and the latest figures at 115,000 visitors in 2017.

The third fastest growing destination for UK tourists, increasing by 183,000 in the last decade, is Mexico with 145% overall growth and a yearly average increase of 13%. The popularity of Mexico has peaked particularly over the last three years, which is evident from the use of a staggering 49 million hashtags on social media platform Instagram, suggesting that Brits are flocking to Mexico to capture their picture-perfect holiday snaps.

The top 10 fastest growing destinations in the last decade can be found below:

PositionDestinationRegionOverall growthAvg yearly growth
3MexicoNorth America145.24%12.83%
5United Arab EmiratesMiddle East64.34%5.72%

On The Go Tours head of marketing, Hollie Youlden, said: “It’s interesting to see the variety of destinations that have made it into the top 20 with our internal consumer data seeing similar trends for UK tourists, with peaks in destinations like Morocco, Greece, and Italy. Europe definitely takes the crown with 70% of the fastest growing destinations being European countries, which given the wonderful variety of locations we have in Europe, and the relatively short travel distances from the UK, may not come as a huge surprise. Having said that, it’s great to see the likes of longer haul destinations in North America, Middle East, Asia and Africa with a large increase in UK tourists, showing people are willing to travel the extra mile for fantastic views, culture and cuisine.”

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