Edinburgh has been named as one of the most popular ‘staycation’ spots for British holidaymakers, according to accommodation search website Trivago.

Trivago’s UK booking data shows that seven of the top 10 bookings destinations for Christmas 2023 are domestic locations, with London, Llandudno in Wales and Edinburgh the three most popular choices.

Britons are also choosing to celebrate the New Year in the UK, with London, Edinburgh and Blackpool among the top places to see in the start of 2024.

The capital has also been named as the second most popular holiday destination for the first half of 2024 for British travellers, behind London and ahead of the likes of Dubai, New York, Benidorm, Amsterdam and Dublin.

Responding to the news, Neil Christison, VisitScotland Regional Director Edinburgh and the Lothians, told The Herald: “Scotland's capital and wider region is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year, but there is something extra special about the city during the festive season.

READ MORE: Scots island and castle make list of most fascinating 'desolate corners' of the globe

“From spectacular light illuminations to Christmas markets and array of festive events alongside the capital’s world-renowned architecture, award-winning attractions and exciting food and drink scene, make Edinburgh a popular destination for a range of visitors from day trippers to long stay holidays.

“These new figures demonstrate that demand for the city continues during what can be a traditionally quieter time of year. This is great news for local businesses and the wider regional economy.”

Trivago’s recently appointed chief executive Johannes Thomas said UK hotel bookings in the third and fourth quarters of the year are dominated by domestic destinations.

The rising cost of flights has been a big factor in the increasing popularity of domestic holidays, he told the PA news agency.

He said: “The UK is a very domestic market. Part of that is down to airline tickets, which are significantly more expensive.

The Herald: Edinburgh is among the top five places to see in the start of 2024.Edinburgh is among the top five places to see in the start of 2024.

“Overall across the globe, it’s true for the US, Europe and the UK that people are going closer to home.

“They’re travelling shorter distances and choosing to stay shorter periods and that’s probably a sign of higher ticket prices.”

Mr Thomas’s comments come after Ryanair warned last week of more steep hikes in air fares this winter.

The Irish airline said its fares surged by 24% on average in its first half and are set for a further “mid-teens percentage” rise over the final three months of 2023.

Mr Thomas said flight prices have increased by more than 30% since 2019, before the pandemic struck, but there is some hope of relief.

READ MORE: Surge in interest in Scotland as solo travel destination

“Since the middle of 2023, we’ve seen prices plateauing,” he said.

Germany-based Trivago, which is majority-owned by Expedia, said its bookings show that despite the trend towards staycations, international travel demand has continued to bounce back since the pandemic.

But the heatwaves and wildfires seen across Europe appear to be putting off some travellers, with searches on the site signalling a drop in demand for Greece and Italy.

Trivago said its bookings data also shows the cost pressures faced by consumers and moves to make savings on travel, with a fall in average price per night and length of stay.

But he said despite the cost crisis, “we see the appetite for travel remaining very high”.

“People feel a strong necessity to travel… and want to get out and experience the world,” he said.

On Monday, The Herald revealed how Scotland’s national tourism organisation has identified a surge of interest in Scotland as a ‘perfect’ destination for solo travellers. 

According to data identified by VisitScotland, searches for ‘solo travel Scotland’ in the UK have increased by 125 per cent in the past year alone, with travellers praising Scotland’s friendly locals for making it stand out from other destinations. 

VisitScotland believe that, after the Covid outbreak stopped a lot of travel plans, people are now less willing to wait for others to travel and that this has led to a bigger 'why not' mindset post-pandemic. 

It followed the publication of a new list of the top 12 ‘most fascinating 'desolate corners' of the globe which included a remote Scottish island and ruined castle.

The list, which was published by Brazilian website Jornal da Fronteira, featured locations such as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island in the Bay of Bengal and the Temple of Quechula - an abandoned Roman Catholic church located in the Nezahualcoyotl Reservoir in Chiapas, Mexico.

Hirta, the main island in the St Kilda archipelago, made fourth position while the ruins of Kilchurn Castle at the head of Loch Awe made seventh position.