Nuremberg, 04 October 2017 – CheckMyBus, the international search engine for intercity buses, has seen one of the busiest travel seasons ever: This summer, 40 percent more UK users have used the website to look for affordable intercity bus rides with domestic routes being more popular than ever. Although providers like National Express and megabus have been connecting more and more cities to international air travel hubs like Heathrow and Stansted, the majority of Brits decided to ditch these options and to visit domestic attractions like Blackpool and Fort William instead.
The Brexit vote and the weak pound have certainly influenced the Brits' travel choices this year, as CheckMyBus booking data shows. In the summer of 2016, four out of five of the most frequently booked connections were either headed for Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport. Last year's number one bus route took travellers from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff to London's Heathrow airport.
Sinking demand for airport shuttles
This year, only two out of the ten most booked connections had an airport as their destination. Last summer's top connection was not even featured in the top 10 anymore, although it can still be booked for only £10. What's even more interesting is that not a single route to London Heathrow made the top 10. Instead, users from the UK were looking for connections to smaller airports like Bristol Airport and London Stansted.
These numbers are even more convincing when considering that numerous airport connections were added this year. In May 2017 alone, megabus launched five new routes to Heathrow and Gatwick. Just two months later, Manchester Airport was added to the budget coach network of megabus.
Brits were headed for the seaside and the Scottish Highlands
This summer, the most frequently booked connection on CheckMyBus led travellers from Glasgow to Blackpool, one of the UK's leading seaside resorts. The town on the Irish Sea has always been well-loved by Brits for its many attractions including Blackpool Zoo and the amusement park, Pleasure Beach. Another frequently booked bus route leads from Birmingham to the Somerset seaside town of Weston-super-Mare.
Apart from beach holidays, getaways to the Scottish Highlands were also highly coveted. Two of the most frequently booked destinations are Oban with its famous whisky distillery and Fort William, where the West Highland Way starts or ends. The choice of destination is not surprising as the Scottish Highlands are a mecca for hiking and known for their picturesque landscapes, which are praised by travellers from all around the world.
The numbers show that Brexit did not diminish the Brits' wanderlust but only diverted it: this summer has seen the rise of the staycation and the rediscovery of Britain's hidden gems.
The international bus search engine CheckMyBus shows real-time schedules and prices in more than 60 countries. With more than 610 bus operators and millions of weekly departures, CheckMyBus gives the user access to the world’s largest virtual bus network. Find bus tickets and more information on www.checkmybus.co.uk. Download our app on iOS and Android.
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