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CitySuites Study: City Break Hotspots (2024)

01/01/2024

UK City Break Hotspots In 2024

City Breaks are one of the most popular types of holidays booked by those living in the UK and abroad. Whether it’s a weekend trip for just a couple of nights or a mid-week getaway to explore a new city. But what's the most popular city break destination in the UK and Europe in 2024? 

London Edinburgh Manchester Infographic

Our Last Study In July 2020

Both the UK and Europe are home to some of the most beautiful cities in the world. With their rich history, grand architectural styles and of course the much-famed British Royal Family. But which UK city is the most sought-after?  

On 15th July 2020, we analysed Google search data using the tool Keyword Finder. This allowed us to discover the average number of searches made in the UK each month for city breaks across the country. 

To conduct this analysis, we looked specifically at the number of monthly searches being made for the search term ‘Hotels in X’ (with X being the UK city in question). We conducted the analysis using the ‘Hotels in X’ formula, with X being each of the most searched for cities in the UK. We then compiled a list of the Top 10 most searched for cities. 

The Most Popular City Break

To summarise, the findings of our study concluded that: 

  • London is the UK’s most sought-after staycation destination, followed by Edinburgh and Manchester. 
  • London, Edinburgh and Manchester remain the UK’s most popular city break hotspots, even when looking at cities across the whole of Europe.  
  • Dublin is the world’s most popular city break destination, beating other famous cities including London and Paris. 

Now in 2024, we replicated our previous study to find out what the popular city break destinations are in 2024. 

The Most Popular City Break Destinations In 2024

Cityukbreaks

The investigation found that the most popular city break destination in the UK is London, as the term ‘hotels in London’ has an average of 74,000 searches every month in the UK. This is then followed by York, with the keyword "hotels in York" being searched for 40,500 times on average.

Edinburgh and Manchester are the third most popular city break destination, according to average searches. With just over 33,000 searches made per month on average, both "hotels in edinburgh" and "hotels in manchester"  are placed in the same position.

Liverpool follows suit with 27,100 searches. Interestingly, 6 cities in Europe are positioned in the same rank as Amsterdam, Bath, Blackpool, Dublin, and Paris all have an average of 22,200 searches per month.

Birmingham is next, with 18,100 searches - along with Bournemouth, Brighton, Cardiff, and Glasgow. 

It's difficult to identify the most searched cities after the top 3 spots as the numbers are all quite similar.

UK & Europe Cities With Most Interest In Visiting

London, York, Edinburgh and Manchester are the most popular city break destinations for those in their booking journey already looking to stay. But what about people who are simply planning their trip and are still unsure?

To identify this, we took the base keyword "things to do in" and entered it through the keyword research tool in SEMRush. This resulted in a list of keywords "things to do in" with a location placed on the end - supplied with the average volume of searchers using this keyword per month. 

Using this data, we cross-referenced the findings to our first test, and found similar interests from the first study. 

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London, again, took the first spot with an extreme 110,000 average search volume for "things to do". 

Sharing second place is Edinburgh and Manchester, with both acquiring 40,500 searches on average per month. 

York, on the other hand, is pushed down to 3rd place with 33,100 searches. 

The fifth location on this list is, again, shared across diverse cities in both the UK and Europe. Amsterdam, Bath, Birmingham and Liverpool all have an average of 27,100 searches per month.  

Notes To Consider

While the numbers are impressive, it's worth noting that keyword research tools such as SEMRush only provide an average estimate of what people might be booking, as opposed to it being an accurate figure - though it does paint a decent picture on what people are looking for on a national level; a holiday not too far from their own neighbourhood. 

We can highlight this as changing the core database to - let's say - France, results are fairly consistent with users searching for hotels in France. 

What Does This Mean? 

To put it simply, UK searchers are, seemingly, more interested in staying in national land for holidays as opposed to abroad. According to the results, London beats other cities in both UK and Europe by a considerable distance in search volume. 

This tells us a few things. First, the cost of living have likely affected the perception of overseas holidays for those staying in the UK, staying nationally to avoid high costs regarding plane tickets, hotels, and so on. This is even more apparent as "cheap hotels" were keyword variations apparent in almost all listed keywords.

Second, it's also likely that big events happening in the UK are factors to consider. In Manchester alone, there are massive events happening in 2024, creating high interest from the first study. 

It's an interesting finding to say the least, and now that we're fully away from the likes of COVID-19, isolations and other means of limited travel, we would have easily predicted that people in the UK were likely looking at other travel destinations outside of the country - and even Europe! 

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