Greece has now overtaken Spain as the most popular summer 2021 destination for Britons, according to booking statistics from a leading travel company.
Top-rated independent firm Travel Counsellors revealed that it has received the most bookings for Greece from UK travellers, with Spain a close second.
This means that for the firm, two amber list countries are now the top-rated holiday destinations for sun-starved tourists this summer.
Greece has now overtaken Spain as the most popular summer 2021 destination, according to an independent travel firm. Above is the picturesque town of Oia on the island of Santorini
Travel Counsellors discovered that 16 per cent of new bookings made in the last week of July were for Greece, known for its ancient ruins and scenic islands.
Spain, which attracted around 18 million UK visitors each year before the pandemic, ranked in second place, earning 15 per cent of new bookings.
The government lifted the 10-day home quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Britons returning from amber list countries on July 19.
Spain has long been a favourite for UK holidaymakers, and its status on the amber list hasn’t deterred tourists. Pictured is the popular port city of Valencia
However, tourists making their way to both Spain and Greece still need to adhere to strict travel regulations.
According to the FCDO, those arriving in Spain need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative PCR test upon entry, and must fill out a Health Control Form within 48 hours before they travel.
Similarly, for Greece, UK visitors need to show evidence of a negative PCR, a negative rapid antigen test or proof of a double jab, and must complete a Passenger Locator Form in advance of their arrival.
Another 15 per cent of bookings came from Britons looking to stay at home, searching for a staycation to see the summer out.
Croatia is another popular European holiday hotspot for summer 2021.
After it was moved to the green list on Wednesday, July 14, Skyscanner recorded an immediate daily surge in bookings of up to 50 per cent for 2021 holidays there.
The travel site also charted a 199 per cent increase in searches week on week for Croatia in the wake of the announcement.
Once Croatia was added to the green list, UK holidaymakers planned their summers around trips to destinations like the island of Hvar, pictured
Travel Counsellors, meanwhile, also experienced a 39 per cent upsurge of new bookings for summer 2022 – with the top destinations being Greece, the USA and Spain – as well as a 20 per cent increase in new bookings for winter 21/22 – led by the USA, the Maldives and Barbados.
Kirsten Hughes, UK Managing Director at Travel Counsellors, explained: ‘With Spain and Greece remaining on the “amber list”, we are experiencing considerable demand for both countries, in particular Greece, which has become our most popular summer sun destination.
‘We also expect an upsurge in bookings to France now it’s moved from “amber plus” to “amber”, as well as the UAE, which has moved from red to amber, meaning that Britons will no longer need to quarantine on return.
‘On the whole, we feel the latest news is certainly a positive step forward, as the green list increases and there are more countries turning to amber from red.
‘However, people still need to ensure they are aware of the FCDO advice on entry requirements, as we await the UAE to align with the latest traffic light news, for example.’
The news comes as Britons holidaying in Mexico were left facing travel nightmares following the government’s declaration that the country would move from amber status to red on Sunday, August 8.
Rebecca Dean and her family are scrambling to get home from Mexico
Rebecca Dean and her family are among the thousands of British holidaymakers now scrambling to get home before 4am on Sunday to avoid a ten-day stay in a UK quarantine hotel costing £1,750 per person, rising to £2,285 from next Thursday.
Dean, who was en route to Cancun when the announcement was made, learned she would need to travel home immediately as soon as the plane landed in Mexico.
The nurse told Good Morning Britain: ‘There was nothing to suggest that Mexico would be going on the red list and we found out after a really long flight from other passengers. It was complete devastation’.