New research by Skyscanner has shed a positive light on the UK market, with increased spend and longer booking lead-in times.
The online agency said the average booking horizon for UK travellers was now 113 days, “much closer to pre-pandemic norms than 2020, suggesting increasing confidence to commit to future travel”.
UK travellers are spending “around double” the cheapest air fare available, Skyscanner said. However, UK consumers were spending 13% less on flights than in 2019, suggesting a big fall in ticket prices as a whole.
The report, Skyscanner Horizons – The Return of Travel, surveyed 5,000 global consumers.
“There’s a groundswell of positivity towards travel in recent weeks from UK travellers,” it said, adding two-thirds believe the global Covid-19 situation is getting better, “a trend that’s been increasing since January”.
Skyscanner predicted summer demand would stretch into September, October and November, with search data indicating this.
Spain was the top destination booked by UK travellers on Skyscanner following the government’s roadmap announcement in February, with the most popular outbound month being August.
Searches to Greece from the UK for summer 2021 have increased 44% week-on-week, with the top increases being London to Mykonos (+278% week on week) and London to Zante (+363%).
Globally, Skyscanner found the top three destinations searched by couples were Bali, Crete and Tenerife, with Majorca, Ibiza and Malaga most searched by groups. For families, Istanbul surprisingly topped the list, followed by Majorca and Dubai.
Globally, the average trip length during 2021 is 16 days, up from 14 days last year and the year before, with the biggest increase being in trips over 21 days.
“Travellers are after that one big getaway, and it’s at the expense of shorter trips and city breaks,” Skyscanner said.