Mexico and the Maldives are the most popular long-haul destinations for Europeans this year, new data from Skyscanner reveals.

With COVID restrictions are removed and as confidence in international travel increases again, vacationers are looking further afield for their next trip.

“According to our latest analysis, destinations such as Cancun, the Maldives, Dubai and Orlando are proving popular among travelers seeking winter sun,” said Hugh Aitken, vice president of the flight search platform.

The fastest growing routes in the world include the Netherlands to the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland to Mexico, Germany to Costa Rica, and Spain to Egypt. The website analyzed “redirects” – where customers click on a travel provider to book their flight – and compared them to 2019 levels.

When it comes to leisure routes between airports, Heathrow to Orlando came out on top with a 245% increase in reroutings. This resurgence in popularity is largely due to the fact that BA and Virgin Airlines now serve the city directly.

The next four spots were all flights from European airports to Cancun, with its beautiful white sand beaches and bustling resort life.

Bookings for trips from Edinburgh to New York are also on the rise, as USA-Europe trip bounces.

People are wasting no time in securing a bit of winter sun, with 7-29 day trips currently accounting for a third of bookings on Skyscanner’s global platforms – a 25% increase from 2019. booking horizons of less than a week have doubled, according to the company.

Where to go in Europe instead, to cut air miles

“Short-haul and domestic air travel dominated 2021,” says Aitken, “but we expect medium- and long-haul international flights to return in 2022, with traveler demand returning as travel rates recover. vaccination increases and restrictions are updated”.

However, what is good news for the global tourism industry is not necessarily good for the planet. If reducing carbon emissions is a priority for you, then you might want to look a little closer to home.

And depending on what you’re looking for, you might find it. Googling Orlando to give your kids a Disneyfied experience? How about first discovering Disneyland in Paris or the colorful Legoland in Denmark.

If the abundant biodiversity of Costa Rica and Mexico has caught your eye, then why not explore some of Europe’s richest natural sites. Our favorites include the Dalmatian coast between Montenegro and Croatia, the peaks of Georgia or the Douro river valley from Spain to Portugal.

We also have many sunny beaches, from the French Riviera to Rhodes – where a new sustainable tourism ‘laboratory’ is under construction.

Sustainable Vacation Providers

But if your heart is truly set for a long-term adventure, there are more sustainable ways to go about it.

Organizations that have joined the Glasgow declaration on tourism are a good starting point.

Militant travel agency Responsible Travel, for example, offers tailor-made trips that favor small local accommodations and restaurants. Sure, you could forgo Cancun’s more popular beach resorts, but they promise a much more authentic taste of Mexican culture.