UK Residents Go Abroad More at Start of 2019

While we’re all preparing for our summer holidays or considering a last-minute escape somewhere, the statistics on where we went in the first three months of the year are in.

And it turns out UK residents went abroad more in the first quarter of 2019 than they did in the same period the previous year.

According to the Office for National Statistics’ latest report into overseas travel and tourism, we increased the number of times we visited overseas countries by 2%, with the majority of us going abroad for holidays rather than business or visiting family.

The research found that business trips abroad fell by 8% to 1.5 million, while the number of visits for miscellaneous reasons dropped by 6%. Meanwhile, the number of visits to friends or family rose by 10% to 4.2 million.

Where are we travelling?

Spain was still the most popular destination for holidaymakers in the first quarter of 2019. Some 2.4 million visits were made there, compared to 2.2 million in Q1 of 2018. It continues the trend of the Mediterranean state being our favourite holiday destination, having seen the most visits from UK residents in all four quarters of 2018, as well as the overall top spot in 2016 and 2017.

The Netherlands saw a significant jump in the number of visits, with 672,000 trips made there in Q1 2019, up from 565,000 last year in the same quarter. Meanwhile, the number of trips we made to Norway almost doubled, going from 57,000 in Q1 2018 to 105,000 in the first quarter of 2019.

However, not all our destinations of choice saw increases. For example, we went to the USA less than we did in the same period last year. There were 519,000 visits there, compared to 624,000 in 2018. Perhaps coming off the back of that sentiment, we also went to Mexico less than we did in the first quarter of 2018, falling from 125,000 million visits to 111,000.

France also saw fewer visits, with 1.5 million made this year and 1.6 million the year before. Egypt saw less than half the number of visits made by UK residents in the first quarter of the year, going from 75,000 in 2018 to just 35,000 in 2019.

Australia saw a rise in the number of visits we made from January to March, going from 125,000 in 2018 to 153,000 this year. But its neighbour New Zealand saw a fall in fortunes, with visits dropping from 52,000 in Q1 2018 to 36,000 in Q1 2019.

What to do if your trip goes wrong

Not all trips go according to plan. If you have suffered an accident abroad, whether that’s a car accident or contracting a holiday illness, you could be entitled to compensation. First4Lawyers can help you make a claim by assigning specialist solicitors to your case.

To find out how we can help, just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or start your claim here.


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