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Record number of trips abroad from the UK

Most people travelled by plane

People in the UK are travelling abroad more than ever before, a new report says.

There were 66.4 million trips overseas from the UK in 2005 – more than treble the figure for 1981, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Mainland Spain and the Canary Islands were the most popular places visited by plane in 2005.

The United States and Ireland were the second and third most popular destinations for UK residents travelling by air.

Plane travel accounted for 81 per cent of all overseas trips made from the UK in 2005 – up from 60 per cent in 1981, according to the ONS Social Trends report.

Sea travel dipped

Sea travel has seen a popularity dip over the same period, with trips taken from the UK by sea dropping from 41 per cent to 12 per cent of all overseas travel.

‘The increase in the number of people travelling by plane over the last two decades is both a continuation and an acceleration of a long-term trend,’ the ONS report says.

In 2005 the number of overseas visitors to the UK hit a record high of 30 million.

That same year, UK residents took more than 85 million holidays within the UK, with the South West the most popular destination.

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