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London is the most searched-for destination for flights in 2023

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A shot of London featuring the Big Ben
Last minute: 44% of all bookings globally in 2023 were made within two weeks or less of departure | Source: eDreams Year in Travel report

Travel subscription platform eDreams, one of Europe’s largest e-commerce businesses, launched its ‘Year in Travel’ report today. The study, which analyses searches and booking data from its customers in all key European markets and the USA, reveals the evolution of travel, including top destinations, booking habits and growth destinations.

London came third as the most popular booked destination globally, behind Paris in 1st  place and Barcelona in 2nd. However, the British capital pipped Paris to the post as the most popular destination for flight searches from all markets globally during 2023 – followed by Paris, New York City, Bangkok and Barcelona.

London was the 2nd most popular booked destination for Germans, the 3rd most popular booked destination for Portuguese and 6th on the list for departures from Spain. For in-coming arrival by air to the UK during 2023, the largest percentage were from Spain (19%), followed by Germany (12%) and Italy (11%). French arrivals made up 10%.  

British travellers instead had their sights on Dublin as the most popular booked destination and all top destinations were short-haul, reflecting  the overall picture of the distance Brits travelled during 2023: 76% continental, 15% intercontinental and 9% domestic.  

“Our research shows that travel continues to be a very important part of people’s lives. When we look at the global travel map for 2023, traditional hotspots like Paris, Barcelona and London remain firm favourites. But, we have also seen long-haul destinations like Bangkok, Las Vegas, and New York grow in popularity this year. That’s really exciting as it shows how travellers are embracing the plethora of choice, information and inspiration available to them thanks to new technologies like AI and increasingly influential social media platforms like Tik Tok”, says Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO.

As 2024 is packed with major international sporting events – including the Olympics, the Paralympics, Grand Prix, the Euros and the T20 cricket,  eDreams’ data shows where interest is already heating up. Global searches for travel to Paris during the Olympics in 2024 vs the same dates in 2023 are up by +41%. 2024 will be the 20th anniversary of Bahrain’s Grand Prix and global travel searches for the weekend of 2 March are up +183% compared to last year. 

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Travel

The 10 Best Beaches on the Algarve for your Summer Holiday

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A sunny beach in the Algarve, Portugal
Tourism: the Algarve reached over 20 million overnight stays last year

Last year, over five million tourists flocked to the Algarve to bask in its Mediterranean climate, explore its charming towns, and enjoy a range of activities from golfing to water sports. The region, situated in the south of Portugal, had a great 2023, with data from the National Statistics Institute revealing that the Algarve reached over 20 million overnight stays last year, a welcomed growth of 6.4% compared to the previous year.

Based on ratings, facilities, and accessibility, Euronewsweek has listed the 10 best beaches in the Algarve for your summer holiday.

Praia da Marinha

Praia da Marinha is often cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Known for its dramatic cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and hidden coves, it’s a must-visit. The rock formations and underwater caves make it a prime spot for snorkeling and exploring marine life. Additionally, the scenic views from the cliffs above are perfect for capturing breathtaking photographs.

Praia da Falésia

Falésia Beach (Praia da Falésia) stretches for about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) between the towns of Vilamoura and Olhos de Água, an area well-serviced and with affordable townhouses for rent from £90/night. Praia da Falésia is known for its stunning red and orange cliffs and it’s is perfect for long walks and sunbathing, providing ample space even during peak season. The panoramic views and serene environment make it an ideal spot for relaxation. It’s also a favorite for photographers seeking to capture the vibrant colors of the cliffs against the blue ocean.

Popular Falésia Beach stretches for about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) between the towns of Vilamoura and Olhos de Água | Photo: Alesia Kozik 

Praia de Benagil

Famous for the iconic Benagil Cave, Praia de Benagil is a must-see. While the beach itself is small, the adventure of exploring the cave by boat or paddleboard is unparalleled. This natural wonder, with its sunlit interior, is a sight to behold. The thrill of accessing the cave and witnessing its beauty up close is an experience not to be missed.

Praia da Rocha

Praia da Rocha is one of the Algarve’s most popular beaches, known for its wide sandy shore and lively atmosphere. Surrounded by bars, restaurants, and shops, it’s perfect for those who want to combine beach time with a bit of nightlife. The beach also offers a variety of water sports, ensuring there’s never a dull moment for adventure seekers.

Praia do Camilo

Accessible via a long wooden staircase, Praia do Camilo offers stunning views and a cozy beach setting. The clear turquoise waters and unique rock formations make it perfect for snorkeling and photography. Its secluded feel provides a romantic escape, making it a favorite among couples.

Meia Praia

Meia Praia is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve, stretching for nearly five kilometers. It’s perfect for those who love water sports, including windsurfing and jet-skiing. The nearby town of Lagos offers plenty of amenities and dining options. Its expansive shoreline ensures that even on busy days, there’s plenty of space for everyone.

Praia de Dona Ana

Praia de Dona Ana is renowned for its golden cliffs and clear blue waters. It’s a great spot for swimming, and the surrounding cliffs provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day. The close proximity to Lagos makes it easily accessible, allowing visitors to enjoy the best of both beach and town life.

Ilha de Tavira

For a unique beach experience, visit Ilha de Tavira. Accessible by ferry, this island offers pristine beaches and a peaceful environment. It’s perfect for those looking to escape the more crowded mainland beaches. The island’s untouched beauty and tranquil setting provide a perfect retreat for nature lovers.

Praia dos Três Irmãos

Praia dos Três Irmãos is known for its impressive rock formations and tranquil atmosphere. It’s a fantastic spot for exploring caves and arches at low tide. The beach is also equipped with good facilities, including restaurants and sunbed rentals, making it convenient for a full day of relaxation.

Praia da Luz

Praia da Luz offers a family-friendly atmosphere with its calm waters and sandy shore. The beach is backed by a promenade filled with restaurants and cafes, making it a convenient spot for a full day of relaxation. Its gentle waves are perfect for young children, and the nearby town of Luz provides plenty of amenities for a stress-free beach day.

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New direct route between London and Northern Norway

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New direct route between London and Northern Norway
The new route will offer London to Northern Norway flights with duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes | Photo: Anete Lūsiņa

Norwegian’s newest route between London and Northern Norway for the upcoming winter season has been officially launched.

“We’ve been eager to announce this new route between London Gatwick airport and Harstad-Narvik airport in Evenes. Northern Norway attracts thousands of visitors to experience the northern lights and beautiful Arctic wilderness. The launch of this new route also connects residents of Northern Norway to England’s bustling capital, London, in under four hours,” says Magnus Thome Maursund, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian.

Harstad-Narvik airport in Evenes gives easy access to some of Northern Norway’s most beautiful areas like the Lofoten islands. This northerly region has become a year-round destination for nature lovers with its cooler summers and midnight sun making hiking conditions ideal to experience the jaw-droppingly beautiful nature. The winter season gives visitors the best opportunity to experience the northern lights in the cold, dark Arctic skies.

“These new routes will provide easier access to Lofoten’s natural beauty and extraordinary attractions. We anticipate this will boost year-round tourism and positively impact on our local economy, representing a significant milestone for our community. Additionally, these routes will offer locals a never-before-seen access to popular destinations”, said Vegeir Selboe, Marketing Manager in Destination Lofoten.

The new route between London Gatwick airport and Harstad-Narvik airport in Evenes will operate with a weekly departure on Saturdays from 2 November during the winter season.

“Narvik was just selected as the host city for the FIS Alpine World Cup Ski Championships in 2029. Narvik sits inside the Arctic circle and offers a unique skiing experience with amazing vistas of fjords, and slopes to suit the demands of all skiers,” says Magnus Thome Maursund.

Norwegian has also launched a new direct route between Harstad-Narvik airport in Evenes and Bergamo/Milano in Italy for the upcoming winter season. These new routes from Harstad-Narvik airport in Evenes are in addition to the previously announced direct route to Palma del Mallorca in Spain for the summer season. Norwegian also operates year around direct flights between Evenes and Oslo, and between Evenes and Bergen during the summer season.

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Fred Olsen wins leisure website of the year at the Growth Awards

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Fred Olsen wins leisure website of the year at the Growth Awards
The UK Digital Growth Awards recognise work that is transforming business and revolutionising customer experience

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has been unveiled as the winner of the Travel and Leisure Website of the Year at the UK Digital Growth Awards 2024. The ceremony was held in central London on June 20th, following judging by a panel of experts from across the digital sector.

The UK Digital Growth Awards recognise work that is transforming business, revolutionising customer experience and adding real value. The prize comes after Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines launched its new-look website last year, with extensive work undertaken to streamline the booking process and more opportunities for guests to personalise their cruise experience.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the title of Travel and Leisure Website of the Year. It is recognition of our whole team’s effort and dedication to improving the experience of our guests when visiting our website,” says Ben Williams, Head of Digital at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

The judges noted ‘the outcomes achieved by this website were clearly conveyed and impressive, showcasing a direct correlation with the results’ and ‘their end-to-end web redesign project yielded remarkable results’.

They also praised the website’s ‘meticulous audience segmentation and content alignment, effectively attracting and engaging it’s intended visitors’.

The accolade is the second win for the digital project having picked up the Travel Website of the Year title at the UK Dev Awards in February.

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