UK visitor numbers boosted by rising demand from Asia

UK visitor numbers boosted by rising demand from Asia

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UK visitor numbers are being driven by significant growth from Asia, including the source markets of Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand.

Figures released by Expedia, for the fourth quarter of 2015, show demand from the six Asian markets has more than doubled year-on-year.

Visitors from Malaysia saw the most marked spike, up 230%, while Thailand was up 180% and Japan 155%.

Figures for other source markets show the US up 20%, with visitors paying £150 for their room and choosing and booking their UK break an average of 37 days out.

New Zealand holidaymakers booked their stay about three months ahead of travel, up an average 3.5 weeks on the previous year, with overall reservations up 90%.

Expedia’s data shows international travellers from the US, Norway, Sweden and Germany were the most likely to book hotel accommodation in the UK.

Malaysia, Thailand and India saw the most significant increase in hotel stays when compared to the same period in 2014.

In the UK, Edinburgh and Glasgow enjoyed strong finishes to 2015, with package growth up nearly 30% and 40% respectively.

But it was Aberdeen that saw the strongest growth, with bookings up almost 70% compared to the same period in 2014.

Demand patterns suggest the Rugby World Cup also helped boost trade in regions with host cities like Newcastle-upon-Tyne (up 50%), Exeter (40%) and Gloucester (60%).

Isabelle Pinson, senior director of market management for the UK & Ireland, at the Expedia group said: “Expedia’s latest data shows strong triple digit growth from across six of Asia’s leading countries, which is phenomenal.

“Following a successful summer, Scotland has enjoyed a great 2015. We’re no longer just seeing demand for popular cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, but Aberdeen too. It’s hugely encouraging to see increased demand for emerging destinations within the UK.”

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