Africa the surprise hit destination for Brits for summer 2018

Africa is the surprise hit destination for Brits for summer 2018: Demand for trips to Nairobi and Lagos surge making them more popular than Las Vegas, Sydney and Cancun

  • A travel site analysed searches made by Brits for trips beyond the continent
  • Demand for trips to Nairobi are up 156 per cent and to Mombasa by 181 per cent 
  • But demand for Chicago is down 33 per cent and for Las Vegas by 40 per cent

Out of Africa? It seems Brits in 2018 are very much into Africa.

The Kenyan city of Nairobi and Lagos in Nigeria are more popular 2018 non-European summer holiday destinations for Brits than Las Vegas, Sydney or Cancun, according to research.

A popular travel site analysed searches made by Brits for holidays beyond the continent in July and August and discovered that demand for trips to Nairobi are up 156 per cent – and to Mombasa on the Kenyan coast by 181 per cent.

Demand for trips to Nairobi are up 156 per cent and it’s now more popular than Las Vegas with Brits, according to search data

The top 50 most popular non-European destinations for Brits in 2018 

New York 1 

Orlando 2 

Colombo 3 

Bangkok 4 

Toronto 5 

Manila 6 

Dubai 7 

Los Angeles 8 

Mumbai 9 

Tokyo 10 

Miami 11 

Kuala Lumpur 12 

Lagos 13 

San Francisco 14 

Nairobi 15 

Vancouver 16 

Sydney 17 

Hong Kong 18 

Singapore 19 

Las Vegas 20 

Johannesburg 21 

Chicago 22 

Chennai 23 

Boston 24 

Seoul 25  

Cancun 26 

Washington 27 

Port Louis 28 

Seattle 29 

Atlanta 30 

Brisbane 31 

Jakarta 32 

Calgary 33 

Tampa 34 

Melbourne 35 

Ho Chi Minh City 36 

Lima 37 

Auckland 38 

Kingston 39 

Beijing 40 

Shanghai 41 

Houston 42 

Cape Town 43 

Mombasa 44 

San Jose 45 

Perth 46 

Denver 47 

Amman 48 

Montreal 49

Minneapolis 50 

Source: Kayak.co.uk 

Lagos isn’t far behind – searches for trips to this city have shot up 96 per cent, compared to 2017. 

The analysis only came from one search site – Kayak.co.uk – so didn’t include actual bookings, but still, the surge in searches for these African cities is significant.

Kayak.co.uk said that Nairobi had shot up the rankings in popularity (judged by searches) from 48th in 2017 to 15th in 2018.

Demand for trips to Mombasa have nearly tripled in just one year.

It is now Britain’s 44th most popular international holiday destination for this summer – just behind Cape Town – having previously not featured close to the top 100.

Lagos has also made huge strides, jumping from 31st place to 13th when it comes to overall demand.

And Johannesburg is up one place from 22nd to 21st.

The top three most popular non-European destinations for Brits are New York, then Orlando and in third place is Colombo in Sri Lanka, with its tourism boom continuing after decades of civil war. 

Demand for trips to Mombasa, pictured, have nearly tripled in just one year

The top 50 European destinations for Brits in 2018 

Alicante 1 

Malaga 2 

Faro 3 

Barcelona 4 

Larnaca 5 

Amsterdam 6 

Lisbon 7 

Istanbul 8 

Paris 9 

Ibiza 10 

Rome 11 

Budapest 12 

Athens 13 

Split 14 

Bucharest 15 

Paphos 16 

Tirana 17 

Dublin 18 

Antalya 19 

Murcia 20 

Corfu 21 

Nice 22 

Milan 23 

Madrid 24 

Prague 25 

 

Edinburgh 26 

Heraklion 27 

Dubrovnik 28 

Berlin 29 

Porto 30 

Naples 31 

Sofia 32 

Krakow 33 

Valencia 34 

Venice 35 

Rhodes 36 

Pisa 37 

Palma Mallorca 38 

Bodrum 39 

Zadar 40 

Florence 41 

Reykjavik 42 

Stockholm 43 

Copenhagen 44 

Girona 45 

Geneva 46 

Catania 47 

Thessaloniki 48 

Tenerife 49 

Bordeaux 50

Source: Kayak.co.uk 

Manila in the Philippines, meanwhile, has also stormed into the top ten and is now the sixth most popular international holiday destination, with a year-on-year increase of 69 per cent.

India also saw solid gains in demand, with Chennai up 57 per cent and Mumbai up 30 per cent.

When it comes to Europe, the two biggest trends for this summer are the resurgence of Turkey and the increasing popularity of Eastern Europe.

Istanbul has seen demand increase by 114 per cent this summer compared to last year, rising from the 29th most popular European destination to eighth.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s capital Antalya has seen demand increase by 92 per cent, climbing to 19th place, having previously been out of the top 50.

Bodrum, on Turkey’s southwest coast, has seen its demand increase by 45 per cent, placing it 39th overall.

However, the European destination that has seen its popularity increase the most for this summer compared to last is Bucharest in Romania, which has jumped from 46th place to 15th thanks to a huge increase in demand of 125 per cent.

Also in Eastern Europe, the Albanian capital Tirana has seen demand soar by 76 per cent, moving up to 17th from 41.

The strongest demand at Kayak.co.uk overall this summer in Europe has been for traditional favourites Alicante, followed by Malaga and Faro.

The destinations that are falling out of favour include Ibiza (down 42 per cent), Prague (down 42 per cent), Los Angeles (down 32 per cent), San Francisco (down 35 per cent), Las Vegas (down 40 per cent), Chicago (down 33 per cent) and Boston (down 45 per cent).

The weakened pound may be one cause of this decline, in spite of the recent rebound.

Neil Cartwright, travel expert at Kayak.co.uk, said: ‘Internationally, there has been a huge shift towards the Subcontinent as well as Africa – the increase in demand for Kenyan destinations in particular is quite sensational. 

‘And we couldn’t have predicted a few years ago that Sri Lanka would become Brits’ third most popular international destination overall. 

‘This might also suggest that Brits are looking for alternatives to the summer classics and are searching out more exotic destinations that they haven’t visited before. Unfortunately, the USA is the country to be missing out the most. Demand has been falling for a few years now and overall, we are seeing year-on-year declines of around a third to popular destinations.’ 

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