With foreign travel from the UK much easier thanks to the removal of pre-departure tests, ABTA has revealed the top ten destinations that Brits are planning to visit in 2022. Jenny Southan reports

“The relaxation of the UK’s testing requirements today will make travel more accessible”, says ABTA. (From January 7, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test when returning to the UK. The Day 2 test will change from PCR to lateral flow on January 9.)

Based on a survey of 2,000 people, ABTA – the Travel Association has revealed the top ten destinations that people from the UK are planning to visit this year.

Number-one on people’s travel wish list is Spain, with 29.3% of respondents saying they plan to visit in 2022. Spain has long been the UK’s favourite holiday destination and usually attracts over 18 million of Brits each year.

In second place – and topping the list of long-haul destinations – is the US, which reopened its borders to UK tourists in November 2021. Almost one in five (18%) of people plan to travel there this year, with New York and Florida among the most popular destinations.

Two further long-haul destinations that are rising in popularity are Australia (5.1%) and Canada (4.5%), both up two places from last year to eighth and ninth respectively.

The classic European holiday destinations of France (17.8%), Italy (16.4%) and Greece (10%) round off the top five, while Portugal (8.7%) and Germany (8.2%) remain the sixth- and seventh-most popular locations.

Turkey (4%) has moved up two places to the tenth most popular destination this year. This increased popularity could be due to the exceptional value for money it currently offers UK holidaymakers as the Turkish lira has fallen considerably against the pound.

The top ten overseas destinations people from the UK plan to travel to in 2022 (and their change in ranking compared to last year):

  1. Spain (29.3%) =
  2. USA (18.1%) +1
  3. France (17.8%) -1
  4. Italy (16.4%) =
  5. Greece (10.1%) =
  6. Portugal (8.7%) =
  7. Germany (8.2%) =
  8. Australia (5.1%) +2
  9. Canada (4.5%) +2
  10. Turkey (4.0%) +2

With research showing people are 30% more likely to use a travel professional now than before the pandemic, primarily for their guidance with Covid-19 travel requirements (47%) followed by the security of a package holiday (46%), ABTA expects to see more customers turning to travel professionals to book their long-awaited trips this year.

Graeme Buck, director of communications at ABTA – The Travel Association, says: “January is typically when people start to plan their holidays for the year ahead, so we’d encourage anyone who is thinking of booking a holiday to speak with an ABTA Member.

“Whether they’re looking to visit one of these popular destinations or somewhere else entirely, our Members are experts at finding the best holiday for their customers – and at a competitive price.

“They’ll also be there to look after their customers every step of the way, from doing all the research to keeping them up-to-date with any restrictions or changes they need to be aware of, so they can book and travel with confidence.”

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE