The Maldives, Caribbean and UAE are UK Holidaymakers Favourite for 2017


A new trend is emerging amongst UK holidaymakers, for long haul destinations in four or five star accommodation.

Research from leading online travel agent Travel Republic has revealed that more of their customers are opting for long haul destinations and that 65% of these customers book four or five-star accommodation.

Increased availability and regularity of flights, as well as the value for money that certain locations offer, has built this trend for embracing worldwide destinations and is expected to continue into 2017 for UK holidaymakers.

While Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus remain hugely popular, long haul destinations are really beginning to take off as Brits see the value in travelling further afield. Travel Republic are predicting big things for the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates as well destinations in the Far East and around the Indian Ocean.

Naomi Wilkinson, Marketing Director for Travel Republic, says, “The Caribbean is as popular as ever and has seen strong growth as a consequence of more flights and more affordable flight options.”

“We’ve also seen strong growth in the UAE as a result of increased flights from across the UK, and increased competition between hotels, making it an ever more affordable long haul destination – in particular for Dubai, Ras-Ul-Khaimah and Ajman.”

Meanwhile, growth to the islands of the Indian Ocean has been fuelled by improved connections in the UAE, allowing UK holidaymakers to fly from several major airports via a single change of plane en route.  Naomi added, “The reduced cost of airfares and improving hotel range has meant that the Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka are certainly destinations to watch closely – and all-inclusive is now widely available across these countries.”

“Of course, the Far East still offers great value for money with an abundance of modern, sophisticated hotels and resorts in destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Coupled with highly competitive rates – either direct or, again via UAE – these destinations have never been more accessible.”

These developments weren’t unexpected. According to the 2016 Travel Trends report published by ABTA – the UK’s largest travel association – a love for long haul was identified as a key future trend. The report said, “Long haul holidays are no longer the preserve of the intrepid traveller… Destinations involving a longer flight such as Cancun and Dubai are now well established for holidaymakers and some will be looking further afield for their next trip.”

Along with a bolder attitude to long distance travel and a desire to experience faraway escapes, Brits are increasingly demonstrating higher expectations when it comes to accommodation and class of resort. Last minute bookings will still serve a purpose for those looking for a late deal but four and five-star accommodation is more accessible than ever before.

Naomi says, “We’re seeing a trend of UK holidaymakers who are looking further afield at some really exciting long haul destinations, such as the Maldives, Mauritius, Singapore that are easier to reach than perhaps they first thought. And they’re preferring to look at four and five star resorts and facilities, and opting for all inclusive, too.”

With growing numbers of UK holidaymakers visiting the likes of Cuba, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia and other exotic destinations, inevitably locations considered up and coming will emerge over the next year.  I’m not convinced that citing other research will help this article to get pick up by publications – as it doesn’t feel like unique content/insight.

In December 2015, Travel Republic launched Cruises to expand the range of product available for customers and this area has seen a healthy growth which is set to continue.

The Telegraph reported UK growth to just under 1.79m passengers who cruised – a highest increase in eight years according to trade body Cruise Lines International Association. The rise has been attributed largely to cruise ships growing in size and therefore able to take more passengers but also the desire of holidaymakers to take in a multitude of destinations on one overall journey.