Demand for peak summer holidays abroad is returning with the opening of quarantine-free travel imminent, but latest consumer research suggests it is well below the level of a normal year.

One in nine UK adults (11%) intend to take an overseas holiday by the end of September and about one in five (18%) to book a trip by the summer’s end, according to BVA‑BDRC research, with nearly one in four (23%) intending to take a holiday by December.


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But the survey of 1,750-plus adults on June 16-18 found almost three times as many (66%) said they would take an overseas holiday by next April.

The average lead time for booking an overseas holiday was just over six months in the latest survey, down from almost eight months in mid-May after UK quarantine measures were announced.

About one in six adults (16%) said they would book a flight by the end of September. However, the researchers noted “growing uncertainty about when to book”, reflecting uncertainty about where quarantine restrictions will apply.

Two-thirds of respondents (65%) said they “would not consider” flying with 14-day quarantine restrictions in place. However, 22% said quarantine would not deter them from flying “as long as it is safe”.

A majority expressed support for the government’s quarantine measures – 60% agreeing it was “a good idea” – and only 25% opposed restrictions even on travel within the EU.

A similar minority (28%) supported the legal challenge against the restrictions by British Airways owner IAG, easyJet and Ryanair.

BVA-BDRC noted: “While the quarantine rule is likely to deter international travel, the majority understand the rationale for the rule.”

UK consumers’ caution appears to extend to domestic travel.

The survey found lead-times for domestic holidays had shortened with the relaxation of restrictions on UK hospitality from the end of this week. However, BVA-BDRC found average lead times had not dropped “at a rate that suggests a surge in summer staycations”.

It noted: “There has been no significant movement in intentions to take a UK trip by August, suggesting a big chunk of the population [has] still to be persuaded.”

The latest survey suggested about one in four adults (27%) will take a UK holiday by the end of September and almost half (48%) by the end of December.

Confirmation of the countries on the government’s ‘Covid travel list’ of destinations to which quarantine-free return travel is allowed may push the numbers booking and taking outbound holidays higher.

But if almost one in four take a holiday by the end of the year, as the survey suggests, it would still represent more of a turnaround than many feared at the height of the lockdown while by no means wiping out the losses of the past four months.

The BVA-BDRC survey was conducted on June 16-18 among 1,757 UK adults.

MoreWebcast: ‘There is demand for people to get away this summer’, say luxury operators

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