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PORTUGAL OVERTAKES SPAIN: As most popular holiday destination abroad this summer


Summer holidays - but not as we know them.

Currently 12 countries are on the UK’s green travel list - including Portugal, Israel and Gibraltar. This means from 17th, no quarantine needed, but locator forms and PCR tests pre-departure and once you return will still be required. So has there really been demand for getting away? Reigo Eljas from explains...

The next announcement on the traffic light system is expected next month, with holidaymakers eagerly awaiting what new additions might be safe to travel to - figures by suggest there is some optimism amongst Brits, with Portugal overtaking Spain as the most popular destination.

Currently, even for those destinations on the green list, PCR covid tests are required both before you leave and upon return - with some concerned about the cost racking up for families.

All in all, Reigo and his team are optimistic.

Read more from the latest figures from below:

Brits are revving their engines and ready to hit the booking accelerator when the light to certain countries turns green according to the latest data from

It also seems that those countries on the amber list won’t see too much stalling as it's likely that if perennial favourites like Greece and Spain are there - people will hit the gas - and this time for a longer duration than normal with a hope that these will move to the green list by the peak of the summer.

Bookers are also assembling behind the grid with searches soaring in the last week for the Algarve, Gibraltar and Malta - trying to anticipate the green list and jump the starting flag. They’re also looking to stay longer on holiday - with the average booking for Malta for example now for 7 nights rather than the usual average of 3-5 nights (81% of bookings for 5 nights or more, compared to 57% in the same period in 2019).

We’re also seeing the likes of Barcelona and Dubai in our top 5 booked destinations, with their blend of beach life and culture/shopping giving you the best of both worlds. But rather than long weekends, people are taking a week there - for example 83% of Dubai bookings are currently for 7 nights or more, compared to 47% in a previous period.

For those people in the pack looking to ease into the first bend and unsure if the likes of France and Spain make the list, they’re turning to their UK equivalents - Jersey and Newquay. Again bookings for Jersey have increased to a week’s stay from a long weekend. Newquay also benefits from Easyjet flights from London as well as Logan Air offering regional flights to the south coast from the likes of Edinburgh and Manchester - beating the inevitable traffic jams.

Some are in for the long-haul rather than a sprint with inspirational destinations with low covid rates gaining traction - for instance the Maldives.

Comparing data from April 2019 vs April 2021 shows a significant improvement in ranking for Jersey, Edinburgh, Malta, Santorini, Dubai and London. Gibraltar has also moved an impressive +110 in rank change from 142 to 32 in destination rank

Another insight is the all-inclusive package holiday, which is more popular than ever. Bed & Breakfast share of package holiday bookings in 2021 is at 45% (v.s. 42% in 2019) and the all-inclusive share has grown slightly from 11% to 12%.

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