New data from Visa Europe shows Brits are flocking in ever greater numbers to Eastern Europe and the Baltics for their holidays. The analysis also shows a renewed appetite overall for overseas holidays as total spend by UK cardholders on overseas trips grew by 25% from 2012 to 2014.
With a diverse range of attractions and cheaper prices compared with traditional holiday destinations, Eastern European countries have been cashing in on the British tourism pound. Croatia, Romania and Lithuania are among the top five fastest growing destinations for Brits in terms of holiday spend, while other Eastern European and Baltic countries also make up six of the top 20 list.
Spend in pubs, bars and restaurants has seen fastest growth across these countries, suggesting they are fast becoming popular party destinations. Croatia leads the way with spend on bars and clubs by UK cardholders up 202% since the summer of 2012. Meanwhile summer spending on restaurants in Croatia also rose 80%.
“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,” says Kevin Jenkins, managing director, UK & Ireland, Visa Europe.
“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”.