London leads as most popular destination for European travellers in 2017


eDreams ODIGEO, Europe’s largest online travel agency, releases its second annual European Traveller Insights Report


  • London secures number one spot as most popular destination for European travellers.
  • Traveller numbers remain resilient in major European cities despite terrorism threats, with Paris and London both welcoming greater number of visitors in 2017.
  • Affordable long-haul air travel leads to 29% rise in long-haul flights booked by European travellers.


London grows 24% topping the list as most popular travel destination in 2017


Barcelona – December 5, 2017: London has retained its status as the most popular destination for Europeans, according to new data from The eDreams ODIGEO’s European Traveller Insights Report 2017, which reveals new European traveller trends and booking behaviour from the past year.


The second annual report’s data indicates that visitors from Europe to London have risen by an impressive 24% on the same period in 2016. Brexit’s impact on the value of Sterling could be behind this rise, with visitors from Europe attracted by the cheap pound compared to the euro.


Traveller numbers remain resilient in major European cities despite terrorism threats


Large cities that have suffered terror-related incidents in recent years, including Paris, London, and Berlin have welcomed a greater number of bookings from Europe in 2017 so far. London has risen 24%, Berlin by 10% and Paris by 4%, compared to 2016. This data suggests that traveller numbers have remained resilient, with no signs of a significant long-term impact to the numbers visiting these major European cities for 2017.


London has proved to have a particular draw for travellers from Italy (up 10%). Meanwhile, Paris is particularly favoured by the Portuguese (up 21%), while Berlin proves popular with German travellers (up 52%).


Rise of 29% in long-haul flights driven by increased availability and lower cost options


Since 2012, 15 long-haul, low-cost airlines have launched[1] providing stiff price competition to more established long-haul carriers, and driving prices down across the board. The cost of return long-haul flights for Europeans[2] has decreased by 7% in the last year – from 610 euros on average in 2016 to 569 euros on average – perhaps explaining the 29% rise in long-haul flights booked by European travellers since 2016. The average cost of a long-haul flight for UK travellers in 2017 so far is £551 while the average cost in 2016 was £646[3].


Asia is one beneficiary of this trend, with flights booked by Europeans to New Delhi up 103% and Singapore up 79%, as the price of flights to these destinations dropped by 6% and 7% respectively.


Data on bookings already made for travel in 2018, shows that this trend is set to continue. Singapore tops the list of destinations with the biggest forward-booking growth in 2018, rising 163% so far. It’s no coincidence that San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles have all made the top list as each has seen a drop in the cost of flights by 19%, 12% and 17% respectively this year. Airlines across Europe are increasingly engaging in a transatlantic price war, with for example, Icelandic firm WOW Air offering flights to the States for less than £100.


Emerging cities and destinations soaring in popularity in 2017


Data revealing destinations with the steepest growth in European flight bookings since 2016 suggests travellers are also exploring emerging destinations not historically known as holiday hotspots. This trend is largely driven by additional routes added by budget airlines enabling these locations to compete with major European cities, such as London, Paris and Rome.


The Azores has seen a big boost in European travellers with two locations, Terceira Island (up 155%) and Ponta Delgada (up 61%) both entering the top growth destinations for 2017. Podgorica (up 83%), the capital city of Montenegro, Gdansk in Poland (up 77%) and Salzburg in Austria (up 75%) have also enjoyed big increases in 2017.


Technology continues to fuel personalised travel packages


European travellers continue to make the most of the technology offered by online travel agencies to tailor their trips, ensuring the greatest convenience and the best price:

  • Tourists are increasingly flying with multiple carriers, as over a third (36%) of eDreams ODIGEO European customers flew out and back with different airlines in 2017, rising by 6% since 2016.
  • eDreams ODIGEO customers on average use mobile to book their flights 37%of the time, an increase of 28% year-on-year from the same period in 2016
  • The typical European traveller leaves an average of just 26 days in advance of their travel date to book in January and February, taking advantage of sales increasingly held by airlines in the new year to make last-minute online bookings. UK holidaymakers leave the widest window, at 36 days, while Portuguese passengers leave the smallest amount of time at 22 days.


Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO, said: “We are delighted to be publishing our second annual European Traveller Insights Report identifying new trends in the online travel market.  As the largest online travel agency in Europe, serving over 18 million travellers each year, we have a deep understanding of European traveller preferences.


“Throughout 2016 and 2017 a number of challenging headwinds emerged but our bookings data shows that the online travel sector has remained resilient. The outlook for the sector is optimistic, with travellers across Europe remaining eager to visit perennial favourites such as London, as well as exploring further flung destinations such as New Delhi and Singapore.


“In particular, we’ve seen an increase in travellers taking advantage of more low-cost options for long-haul flights and new routes opening in Europe. eDreams ODIGEO exists to help travellers compare their options and book the best and most convenient deals for them. The additional choices presented by new market entrants for both short-haul and long-haul travel are welcome news to consumers and the travel industry.”





About eDreams ODIGEO


eDreams ODIGEO is one of the world’s largest online travel companies and one of the largest European e-commerce businesses. Under its leading online travel agency brands – eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo, Travellink, and the metasearch engine Liligo – it offers the best deals in regular flights, low-cost airlines, hotels, cruises, car rental, dynamic packages, holiday packages and travel insurance to make travel easier, more accessible, and better value for the more than 18 million customers it serves across 43 markets. eDreams ODIGEO is listed in the Spanish Stock Market.


Report methodology 


The eDreams ODIGEO European Traveller Insights Report 2017 is based on the company’s online travel agency brands (eDreams, Opodo, Go Voyages and Travellink) data from all European bookings made via the eDreams ODIGEO platform between two timeframes: January 2016 to September 2016, and January 2017 to September 2017.


Therefore, findings referenced that are based on ‘2016 data’ are based on data from between January 2016 and September 2016, and findings that are based on ‘2017 data’ are based on data from between January 2017 and September 2017. Unless otherwise specified, the bookings made are for travel anytime.


Any external data sources included are detailed within the report.

[1] The Centre for Aviation, June 2017

[2] Based on the top 100 long-haul destinations booked by Europeans

[3] Converted from Euros using on 27th November 2017

[4] Based on 2017 Q2 data for eDreams ODIGEO.