Britain's Top Overseas Tourist Destinations

Aerial view of Fortress Vila Vella and Badia de Tossa bay at summer in Tossa de Mar on Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

#1 Spain

Perhaps a surprise to no one, Spain sits comfortably at the top of Britain’s most popular foreign tourist destinations. Before covid, Spain saw over 18 million British visitors in just one year! And considering the country’s relative proximity to the UK, its wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and sprawling cities, it’s easy to see why it is so popular. ABTA, the UK’s largest travel association, predicted that more than a quarter of British tourists will visit Spain in 2022.

#2 France

Coming in just behind Spain is France. Perhaps a sensible choice considering that learning the basics of the French language is a central part of most British children’s primary and early secondary curriculum! The closest thing to a neighbour that Britain has, and now technically joined by land through the channel tunnel, France sees a comparable (but slightly smaller) number of visitors as Spain every year, seeing 13 million in 2019 alone.

#3 Portugal

While it sees considerably less visitors than the likes of Spain and the Canary Islands, Portugal is still a fantastic holiday destination. While geographically small, the country has plenty to offer - including over 800 kilometers of coastline, with a number of different beaches, resorts and its famous capital city, Lisbon, which sits at the mouth of the River Tagus. The country is safe, stable and accessible, and one of the least expensive destinations in western Europe.

#4 The Canary Islands

While technically under the jurisdiction of Spain, the Canary Islands are autonomous, self-governing small island communities off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula and as such we thought to consider them separate in this list. Long hours of sunshine and only five hours away by air, the Canary Islands consist of small eight islands. The most popular of these is Tenerife, which sees 620 thousand British tourists each year.

#5 Orlando, Florida

A little bit further from the destinations previously mentioned on the list is Orlando, a city in Florida which is of course part of the United States. Across all the states, Brits are known to make up a good portion of the annual visitors to Florida among Americans themselves, and Canadians. The region welcomes approximately 1 million brits each year. One of the main attractions to Florida is of course Disneyland, the family-favourite travel destination for families across the globe.

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