According to World Bank data, more people visit abroad from the UK than from any other country other than China.
The thing is, we don’t tend to travel that far from home!
According the ONS 2012 Travel Trends the number of visits abroad by UK residents was 56.5 million, broadly equivalent to one visit abroad per person per year (although no doubt the distribution is nowhere near equal!).
What’s interesting, however, is just how close to home most of these visits are:
- Nearly 20 million, or 34% of all visits are to Spain or France
- About 38 million visits, or about two thirds of total visits are to just 10 countries, made up 8 countries in Europe plus America and Turkey.
- This means that just 20 million visits, which will be considerably less than one third of the UK population, venture to more exotic destinations, and many of those 20 million visits are likely to be ‘safe’ western-style hotels in countries such as Egypt.
Given all of this, I think it’s safe to say that tourism trends are more regional than truly global. True global travelers are very much the exception.