The research from travel money firm Centtrip found the figure is up by £3.9bn since 2010 – an 11.7 per cent increase.
Spain benefitted the most from the UK’s travellers, who spent £6.14bn in the country last year, while £3.91bn was parted with during visits to the US. Meanwhile, France and Italy completed the top four countries with £3.51bn and £1.68bn respectively.
However, the countries to receive the largest gains in British expenditure were significantly different. Romania led the way for growth with a 113.9 per cent spending increase between 2010 and 2014, rising from £89.8m to £192m.
Elsewhere, Lithuania also received extra capital from the UK’s tourists with a 74.2 per cent growth from £66.6m to £115.9m. It was closely followed by a 73.7 per cent increase in the United Arab Emirates from £467.1m to £811.6m – supported as Dubai has become a popular holiday destination.
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“Overseas travel is increasing, but as people visit more countries, they need to make sure they are getting a fair deal when buying foreign currency, and keep charges down to a minimum,” said Centtrip co-founder and MD Brian Jamieson.
Indeed, it’s estimated that Brits took over 60 million trips abroad in 2014. A firm looking to increase that number is Rise – a company inspired by the sharing economy model of Airbnb and Uber, which allows customers to share private flights. It was founded in the US, but has revealed a plan to enter the UK and support air travel across the country and to destinations including Dublin, Paris and Brussels from 2016.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook has expanded its business by opening a joint venture with shareholder Fosun International. Flights will now reach China – a rapidly growing tourism sector.
“Today, there is a lack of innovation and differentiation in the travel product offerings for Chinese tourists in China and abroad, presenting an excellent opportunity for our new joint venture to gain a competitive advantage,” said Qian Jiannong, president of Fosun’s Tourism & Commercial Group.
According to the findings from Centtrip, British holidaymakers spent 45.8 per cent more in 2014 than they did in 2010 – rising from £165.2m to £245m.
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