London to be top holiday destination for 2012

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London 2012

London 2012

The Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations are expected to make London one of the top holiday destinations for Britons in 2012, according to a report.

An increasing number of Britons decided to holiday in their own country in 2011, a survey by travel firm found.

Southern England was the most popular spot for British travellers, followed by London, as seven per cent more Britons made bookings for trips within their own country than last year.

The number of bookings to London has increased since last year due to the range of attractions it has to offer, including award-winning theatre shows and new world class shopping centres, the report said.

Visits to London and other ‘staycation’ cities around the country are expected to prove popular with Britons in 2012. The Olympic Games and other big ticket sporting events, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and an increasing number of festivals are forecast to be the biggest draws the capital has to offer.

Outside of the UK, an increasing number of British tourists chose to travel to Spain and Turkey as many travellers decided against visiting destinations in North Africa, the travel company found.

Hotel bookings for the Algarve, the Greek Islands and Madeira have experienced a growth of around 25 per cent in 2011. Kenya and other European destinations such as Tallinn in Estonia and Sofia in Bulgaria have also seen a similar increases in bookings with British travellers.

Britons have shown they are willing to adapt their travel plans to accommodate world events, the travel company said. Bad flooding in Thailand persuaded many British travellers to alter their itineraries this autumn, while bookings to Japan have picked up again after the devastating earthquake which hit the country in March.

Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia UK and Ireland, said: “2011 has highlighted the mixed approach to holidaying taken by Brits in troubled times. As some are drawn to holidaying at home, others simply look for alternative destinations – with Spain and Turkey particularly growing in popularity during the Arab Spring.

“The other notable trend was deal hunting – with savvy travellers taking advantage of the great deals to be had in destinations like Egypt and Japan as they start to recover. Yet what’s absolutely clear is our determination to keep our holidays.”


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