This year has changed everyone’s plans dramatically, but it has also changed the way we travel. In-destination travel provider Welcome Pickups has analysed traveller behaviour, comparing the last six months (March 1st – September 30th) to the exact same time period just one year ago, to see how differently Brits travel now to how we were travelling back 2019. Here are the findings:

Greek destinations now top the list for UK travellers.

This time last year, three Spanish destinations were in the top five destinations for travellers. 17% of all travellers were heading to Barcelona, 6% to Seville, and 5% to Madrid. The last six months of travel has shown a shift away from Spanish destinations to Greek destinations. Athens has become the number one spot (16% of travellers) and both Crete (6%) and Corfu (4%) have made it to the top five destinations.

March 1st – September 30th 2019March 1st – September 30th 2020
  1. Barcelona (17%)
  2. Athens (11%)
  3. Seville (6%)
  4. Rome (6%)
  5. Madrid (5%)
  1. Athens (16%)
  2. Rome (7%)
  3. Crete (6%)
  4. Barcelona (5%)
  5. Corfu (4%)

Many British travellers have since become solo travellers.

Over 32% of those who travelled this time last year had done so with their family. This has since dropped to 22% of all travellers. The same trend has been observed when it comes to travelling with friends. Now only 14% of travellers in the last six month have travelled with their friends, this time last year it was at 17%. 

There has been a slight increase in the amount of Brits travelling with their significant others, which was 35% of travellers in 2019 and 39% in the last six months of 2020. However, the largest shift has been in solo travel, which now accounts for 26% of British travellers, compared to the same time period last year where only 16% were travelling alone.

British travellers are either doing very short stays or very long stays in 2020.

The majority of travellers this year are only staying in destinations for one day, this accounts for 24% of all travellers. The same period last year saw 17% of travellers staying in a destination for just one day. This time last year it was more common for travellers to stay in a destination for three days (25%), now it’s just 17% of travellers. There has, however, been an increase in British travellers staying in a destination for more than seven days. The last six months has seen 14% of travellers staying longer, this time last year it was at just 6%.

Number of daysMarch 1st – September 30th 2019March 1st – September 30th 2020
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

More than 7

17%

15%

25%

17%

8%

3%

8%

6%

24%

9%

17%

12%

9%

4%

11%

14%

 

This year, sea and sun are the main concerns for travellers coming from the UK.

Enjoying the sea and sun have always been a priority for British tourists, however this year it’s far more important than it has been in the past. For the same six month period last year, 38% of travellers chose sea and sun as the main interest on their holiday, this year it has increased to become the main reason for 54% of all travellers.

Exploring the neighbourhoods and sampling the local cuisine still remain as top interests this both this year and last year, however visiting museums are no longer the list for 2020.

March 1st – September 30th 2019March 1st – September 30th 2020
  1. Sea and Sun (38%)
  2. Explore neighbourhoods (25%)
  3. Local cuisine (18%)
  4. Visit sites out of the city (13%)
  5. Museums (7%)
  1. Sea and Sun (54%)
  2. Explore neighbourhoods (26%)
  3. Local cuisine (10%)
  4. Visit sites out of the city (6%)
  5. Historical sites (4%)

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Welcome Pickups is a leading ground transportation solution, offering travellers the best end-to-end in-destination experience. Beyond our transfer services and sightseeing rides, the technology we provide and the data we collect enables our trusted drivers, accommodation providers and partners to seamlessly enhance and personalise a travellers entire stay.