Welcome to our official TripAdvisor UK blog. This is where we aim to share our thoughts, quirky updates, new research and anything else we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Air Passenger Duty tax (APD) awareness gains momentum amongst general public

TripAdvisor poll reveals British travellers are increasingly informed on APD as key industry figures rally against it

APD has long been a hotly-debated and well-known issue within the travel industry, but despite the cost implications for the passenger, the average traveller seemingly knew little about it. New TripAdvisor research indicates this may now be changing. 

In a poll carried out by TripAdvisor in November 2010, only one-third (33%) of respondents claimed to know what APD was and how it worked, while the same number claimed to never have heard of it.*

One year later, TripAdvisor has repeated the poll and found that the number of travellers well-informed on APD has increased by 48%. Poll results from December 2011 show that half (49%) of travellers claim to now know what APD is and how it works, while the number of travellers who have never heard of APD has shrunk to 22%.

“Despite its financial impact on the traveller, the controversy around APD has largely been limited to those within the travel industry,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “With the Treasury’s recent decision to retain the APD structure, concerns over the economy and particularly the airline industry’s strong and well-publicised stance on the tax, it seems travellers are now paying attention to the potential impact APD could have on their holiday cost.”

The treasury announced on 6 December that it would retain the current four-band APD structure.

*Poll carried out on 1,632 travellers on TripAdvisor.co.uk in November 2010
**Poll carried out on 1,677 travellers on TripAdvisor.co.uk in from 5 - 13 December 2011

Friday, 9 December 2011

UK dominates Europe's 'Fastest Growing Destinations' list

TripAdvisor reveals the European destinations sparking greatest rises in tourism interest in 2011; Ilford takes top spot

TripAdvisor has revealed the destinations that saw the biggest increase in traveller interest based on traffic uplift on TripAdvisor over the past year, with British destinations seeing a significant soar in interest.  The UK laid claim to eight of the ten destinations in the list, including the top finisher, Ilford.

The Olympics are likely a key factor in this year's fastest-growing destinations.  Ilford is just a nine-minute train ride from the Olympic Park in Stratford, while third-place finisher Trafford will host 9 Olympic football matches at its Old Trafford Stadium.  Seventh-place finisher, Salford, neighbours Trafford, while Hounslow's tenth-place finish could potentially be attributed to its proximity to Heathrow Airport, which is expecting its busiest time ever thanks to the Olympics. 

“These destinations may not all be most obvious tourist hotspots, but for one reason or another they’ve sparked rapidly rising traveller attention this year,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “For the British destinations, and especially Ilford, it’s encouraging news – and it’s likely we can attribute much of this spike in traffic to increased interest generally in the UK as excitement builds around next year’s Olympics.”

Ilford in East London tops the European list, followed by Valras-Plage in France, with the UK’s Trafford in third place. Other UK destinations in the list include Tamworth, Brandon, Salford, Warrington, Warminster and Hounslow in fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places respectively. 

Europe’s top ten fasting growing destinations for 2011 are as follows*:

1.    Ilford, Essex – UK
2.    Valras-Plage – France
3.    Trafford, Greater Manchester – UK
4.    Tamworth, Staffordshire – UK
5.    Brandon, Suffolk – UK
6.    Yalta – Ukraine
7.    Salford, Greater Manchester – UK
8.    Warrington, Cheshire – UK
9.    Warminster, Wiltshire – UK
10. Hounslow, Middlesex – UK

For more information on these destinations, visit www.TripAdvisor.co.uk

* List is based on the biggest increase in page views for search traffic year-on-year, across TripAdvisor branded sites globally, comparing, 1st Jan – 31st Oct 2010 versus the same dates in 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bah Humbug! Brits dream of eschewing Christmas for a holiday

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, reveals many Brits are lacking that festive feeling.  A brand new poll of over 1,500 travellers showed an astounding 80% of respondents admit they have been tempted to escape Christmas altogether and blow their Christmas budget on a holiday instead.*

“Between gift shopping, the cold weather, juggling numerous Christmas parties and hosting friends and family, the Christmas period can be an incredibly stressful time of year,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “Four out of five Brits evidently find it so stressful that they dream of using their Christmas budget to escape on holiday, rather than celebrate in a more traditional way.”

It appears those looking to escape Christmas are also keen to escape the recent chilly and snowy weather – the most popular destinations on TripAdvisor.co.uk in the last 30 days** are predominantly warm and sunny:

1.    Canary Islands, Spain
2.    Red Sea and Sinai, Egypt
3.    New York, USA
4.    Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
5.    Ile-de-France, France
6.    Florida, USA
7.    Balearic Islands, Spain
8.    Agean Coast, Turkey
9.    Andalusia, Spain
10.Catalonia, Spain

For more information on these destinations, visit www.TripAdvisor.co.uk

*Poll carried out on 1,588 travellers from 29 November-5 December 2011
**Most viewed destinations on TripAdvisor.co.uk in the last 30 days according to page views

Friday, 2 December 2011

Brits say the Amazon is the most wonderful ‘Wonder’

Brits say the Amazon is the most wonderful ‘Wonder’

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website can exclusively reveal what new natural wonders of the world British travellers truly think are wonderful and those which, perhaps, they do not.

The new ‘7 Wonders of Nature’ list has been in the works for four years.  The provisional list was released earlier this month, with the final list set to be announced early next year.  According to TripAdvisor’s poll, the Amazon can be relatively sure of its spot, while travellers are less keen on Jeji Island in South Korea.

The below, in order, are the wonders Brits would most like to see on the list:
  1. The Amazon Rainforest - South America 
  2. Iguazu Falls - Argentina and Brazil 
  3. Halong Bay - Vietnam
  4. Table Mountain - South Africa
  5. Komodo – Indonesia and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River - Philippines - Tied as above 
  6. Jeju Island - South Korea

“It’s not surprising to see the Amazon and Iguazu Falls top the list for Brits – they’re both renowned for their outstanding natural beauty and, as our forums show, are destinations Brits aspire to see,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.  “That said, every destination on this list exceptionally picturesque and deserving of its spot on the provisional list.”

For more information on these destinations, visit www.TripAdvisor.co.uk

*Poll carried out on 1,995 respondents on TripAdvisor.co.uk from 18th-28th November 2011