London. Image: Getty

This week’s top travel trends

(Friday 29 February) Here are the trends that caught our eye this week:
Increase in visits to the UK by overseas residents
Between October and December 2019, there were 9.6 million visits to the UK by overseas residents — an increase of 4% on the previous year. The Office for National Statistics has also revealed that overseas visitors spent £6.6 billion in the UK over this period, 26% more than in the previous year. The number of holiday trips increased by 10%, while visits to friends and relatives rose by 3% and the number of business trips increased by 1%.
Trends in female over-55 solo travel
After surveying 2,000 UK residents, Riviera Travel has revealed that a quarter of women over 55 have travelled on their own. According to the study, 41% of women over 55 travel alone because they enjoy their own company, while 33% simply want to try something new. When choosing destinations, 40% are keen to experience new cultures and 25% want to stay away from the tourist trail.
Travellers name the most beautiful countries in the world
Rough Guides has revealed the top 20 most beautiful countries in the world, as voted for by readers and social followers. Italy took the first spot, followed by New Zealand, the UK, Greece and Canada. South Africa was the only African country to make the list, while several South American destinations — including Chile, Argentina and Brazil — feature in the roundup.