Portugal has maintained its sixth position in the Top 10 of the most popular destinations among British tourists for the year 2022, according to a recent survey by the British Association of Travel Agencies (ABTA).

According to the association, Portugal was nominated by 8.7 percent of respondents, a good result but still far from the 29.3 percent of Spain that leads this ranking, a destination that usually receives 18 million British tourists a year.

The exchange in the Top 3 between the USA and France is curious, with the USA moving from 3rd to 2nd (18.1 percent) and France (17.8 percent) moving in the opposite direction.

Among transatlantic destinations, Australia (5.1 percent) and Canada (4.5 percent) also appear, although in more “modest” positions, 8th and 9th, respectively.

Among the classic European destinations, in addition to Spain, France and Portugal, appears Italy, in 4th position, with an indication of 16.4 percent of the British, as well as Greece, in 5th position, with 10.1 percent.

Behind Portugal, in addition to Australia and Canada, appears Germany (8.2 percent) and Turkey (4 percent), with Canada and Turkey rising, respectively, two positions.

According to the ABTA, “the relaxation of UK testing requirements will make travel more affordable”, as fully vaccinated travellers will not need to undergo pre-departure testing when returning to the UK, with the second day test to switch from PCR to antigen.

With data showing that there is a 30 percent more probability of people using a travel professional compared to the pre-pandemic reality, mainly for guidance on travel requirements regarding Coronavirus (47 percent) and security regarding the vacation package (46 percent), ABTA expects to see more customers turning to travel professionals to book trips for this year.

Graeme Buck, ABTA's Communication Director, said in a statement that "January is typically when people start planning their vacation for the coming year", noting that he “encourages anyone thinking of booking a vacation to speak with an ABTA member”.

Spending spree

Meanwhile, Brits plan to spend more money on holidays this year than ever before with a third planning to spend £1,000 more than usual on their 2022 holidays.

New research from airline easyJet reveals that British travellers are planning more holidays that usual in 2022 and will spend more on them than ever before this year, in a bid to make up for lost travel experiences over the last two years as a result of travel restrictions.

According to EasyJet: “More than half of Brits (55 percent) say they plan on taking more than two holidays this year, 50 percent say they will go on more holidays in 2022 than they normally would and a third are planning to spend £1,000+ more than usual on their 2022 holidays as a result of having had their travel plans disrupted by travel restrictions across Europe.

“Nearly half of those surveyed (47 percent) plan on going on a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ this year to make up for the past two years of less travelling, with around two-thirds (65 percent) prioritising a trip abroad in 2022”.

The results from the survey of 2000 holidaymakers comes following the UK Government confirming the removal of pre-departure testing for those returning to the UK and the return to one lateral flow test on arrival.

In the hours following the government announcement, the airline saw a boost in UK bookings by almost 200 percent on average compared to the same time last week. Flights to Spanish destinations Tenerife, Alicante, Malaga and Lanzarote proved to be most in demand, with bookings to Lanzarote being boosted by 427 percent, week on week.

Sophie Dekkers, Chief Commercial Officer at easyJet, said: “We know that there is pent up demand with many desperate to get away this year, which we continue to see each time restrictions are removed. This survey further underlines the fact that people want make up for lost time as soon as they can and so we welcome the government’s decision to remove the unnecessary and costly pre-departure testing for travellers, now only requiring one lateral flow test on arrival. This will make travel much simpler and easier and means our customers can book with confidence and are hopeful that completely restriction free travel will return soon.

“With low fares, so many fantastic destinations and leading flexibility, now is a great time to book with easyJet. We are excited about our plans for next summer, which should see us return to 2019 levels of capacity and beyond.”