London top destination for travel bookings in boost for tourism industry

London is set to be a popular destination in 2023   (PA)
London is set to be a popular destination in 2023 (PA)

London is among the top most popular destinations booked by travellers globally this year, a new report reveals.

Research by one of the largest online travel companies, eDreams ODIGEO, reveals London came second to Paris as the most popular booked destination - a welcome boost to tourism following the pandemic.

The Year in Travel report analysed searches and booking data between January 1 and October 31.

It found that travellers are most likely to book short, spontaneous getaways.

“Our bookings data shows short breaks are currently the most prominent, revealing that consumers are looking to squeeze in holidays wherever possible, with almost a third of trips lasting for just three-four days,” said Dana Dunne, chief executive of eDreams ODIGEO.

The English capital topped the leaderboard when it came to travel searches from all markets in 2022, followed by Paris, Instanbul, New York City and Barcelona.

Popular tourist attraction the London Eye (London Eye)
Popular tourist attraction the London Eye (London Eye)

London is also set to be the stand out destination for travel in 2023, again coming second only to Paris in terms of global bookings and second in global searches, behind Bangkok.

With King Charles III’s coronation set for May 6 next year, global searches for travel to London between May 4 and 6 increased by 143 per cent against the same dates in 2022.

The highest percentage of visitors to the UK arrived from Spain, 18 per cent, compared to 12 per cent from Germany, 11 per cent from Italy and nine per cent from France.

During 2022 most British travellers took short-haul flights - possibly reflecting the closure of many borders further afield - but many searched for more distant locations, including Bangkok, Dubai, Tokyo and Auckland.

Dublin was the most popular booked destination for Brits, followed by Barcelona, Paris, Malaga and Alicante.

Berlin, Antalya, Brussels, Stockholm and Pisa were newcomers in British travellers’ top 50 list in 2022, while newcomers globally included Budapest, Copenhagen, Malta, Stockholm and Geneva.

“This trend could also be representative of more flexible work patterns, enabling travellers to bring their laptops with them and work abroad whilst enjoying a long weekend in a new, exciting environment,” Ms Dunne said.

“Our findings also reveal that travellers have been spontaneous with their bookings, with nearly half (45%) taking place just 15 days before departure, or less.”

The topped booked destinations by Brits for next year are Dublin, Paris, Alicante, Amsterrdam, Bangkok, Malaga and Rome.

The top searches however, include Bangkok, Sydney, New York, Dubai and Orlando.