British holidaymakers flocking to Eastern Europe, Visa analysis shows

British holidaymakers flocking to Eastern Europe, Visa analysis shows

Research from Visa has found that Eastern Europe and the Baltics are becoming increasingly popular among British travellers.

Croatia, Romania and Lithuania are said to be among the top five fastest growing destinations for UK holiday spend.

It also found that spend by UK Visa cardholders on summer holidays abroad grew 25% between 2012-14, and 31% of UK holidaymakers say they now travel abroad more than they did five years ago.

Spend by UK cardholders in Romania, Lithuania and Croatia increased by 80%, 61% and 57% respectively between 2012 and 2014.

Croatia sees the largest amount of holiday spend in Eastern Europe by Brits currently, with £18.4 million spent on Visa cards during the summer of 2014. This was followed by Romania (£8.8 million) and Lithuania (£6.3 million).

Spend in pubs, bars and restaurants has seen the fastest growth across these countries, with Croatia leading the way in this area with spend in the country up 202% since the summer of 2012. Summer spending in restaurants in Croatia also rose by 80%.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director UK and Ireland for Visa Europe, said: “Our data suggests appetite for domestic holidays remains strong but there’s clearly a renewed desire to grab the passport and get exploring again.

“A third of Brits tell us today they’re taking more overseas holidays than five years ago. The difference though is in the choice of destination.

“People are looking beyond the traditional Mediterranean holiday spots for new experiences.

“Croatia’s exploding festival scene, low prices and stunning scenery are making it highly attractive and there’s a similar halo effect across Eastern Europe’s new tourist hotspots. Lithuania too has become a real hotspot, with its golden coastline and artsy capital of Vilnius.

Jenkins said using Visa overseas is comparable to the cost of changing currency on the high street.


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