Mexico is in these days with British travelers ... I mean, just look at that water!
Photo by CC user archer10 on Flickr

A UK based travel agency has looked at the changing face of British holiday destinations over the past 20 years. They found that Mexico has becoming the most popular since 1995, whereas Canada has lost its allure. Thailand, Jamaica, and the UAE were all popular new destinations.

British holiday makers seem to think that Mexico is in, and Canada is out. A piece of research looking at the most popular holiday destinations for British holiday makers has revealed the changing face of British travel interest over the past 20 years. There has been a huge shift for all destinations. British people now seem to favor locations like the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Thailand. Canada and Australia have both been losing their appeal since 1995.

UK based online travel agency has been conducting an extensive piece of research into the habits of British holiday makers. Specifically, they have studied how their habits have changed over the past two decades, looking at the popularity of certain long haul destinations. They found that there have been some very significant changes in terms of where people like to go.

Sunshine revealed a number of facts that were very surprising:

  • America, which was declining in popularity up to the September 11, 2001 attacks, suddenly saw a surge of British people visiting the country again. In fact, hundreds of thousands more start to travel to America again.

  • In 2008, the Global Financial Crisis hit, and this led to dropping numbers of holiday makers across the board. The exception was Dubai, where there was a significant increase in the number of tourists from Britain.

  • There was a huge surge in the number of British people who went to India in 2003, which was when the bird flu outbreak was as well. However, a large fall in interest was recorded in 2006, when there was also a severe flood.

  • Rihanna, singer super star, shot a video to promote the tourist destination of Barbados in 2013. This led to the biggest surge of all, with Barbados experiencing record breaking numbers of visits that same year.

Canada, however, long a very popular destination with British holiday makers, is in significant decline. This decline started in 2002, around the time of the SARS outbreak. It picked back up in 2006, but took a nose dive after that and hasn’t recovered still.

Other results from the research include:

  • A rise in popularity of Thailand, particularly among gap year British people.

  • A rise in popularity for South Africa right after the September 11, 2001 attacks. South Africa has been up and down ever since.

  • A huge rise in popularity for the UAE, who had 50,000 British visit in 1995, and 400,000 in 2015.

  • A dwindling in the number of British tourists traveling to Australia since England won the 2005 Ashes.

The rise in popularity of certain destinations has also changed economies in those other countries. For instance, in 2013, an extra 2,000 news rooms were opened in Jamaica alone.

A representative from Sunshine says:

“It is always interesting to see where British people are going for their vacation, and how this changes over time. We also believed that, by tying peaks and troughs together to world events, we would be able to establish causality. However, this doesn’t always work. A surge in visitors to America after the 9/11 attacks could be explained by solidarity, but considering security went up and traveling was seen as dangerous, it still surprised us. Similarly, the link between South Africa as a destination and 9/11 isn’t clear.”