Exchange rates at top of holidaymakers concerns in Sandals poll

More than 80% of Britons did not avoid booking a holiday until they knew the results of the Brexit vote, a new poll reveals.

However, more than a third of the 2,000 surveyed say concerns over exchange rates would make them less likely to travel and 79% claim that value for money was a major factor to consider when booking a holiday.

They chose ‘all-inclusive’ as the most preferred board basis (34.70%), with half board the option they would be least likely to choose were they to book a holiday now (18.40%).

Those with children were much more likely to book an all-inclusive (43.97%) over half board (13.85%). Millennials aged 25-34 were more likely than any other age group to book an all-inclusive holiday (38.5%).

British holidaymakers are prepared to spend on average £1,072 per person for a long haul holiday, with just under a quarter saying they would spend between £1,001-£2,000 per person, accord to the poll carried out by all inclusive resorts operator Sandals.

Men are prepared to spend on average £64 more than women on a holiday and families £70 less than those without dependents.

More than 45% of those surveyed worry that the country they are travelling to may become unsafe, with ‘terrorism’ referenced as the key fear. This is higher for those with dependents than those without children (49% verses 43%).

Another major consideration post Brexit referendum is the reassurance of booking with a trusted brand. Just under half of respondents (45.7%) said that they would be less concerned about holidaying following the referendum if they knew that they were travelling with a well trusted brand.

Millennials were the most likely to think seriously about booking with a trusted brand (48.51%) compared with the 55-plus age group (29.09%).

When looking at the generational preferences for holidays, food quality and food options were much more important to over-45s (37.43%), whereas location was most important for those aged 55-65 (89.60%).

The younger generation (25-44) cared less about location, citing money-related factors as their priority (aged 25-34 83.40%, 35-44 82.79%).

The choice of destination is still important, with 84.35% of those surveyed choosing location as a key consideration when booking a holiday.

Europe still comes out top for people’s booking choices for 2016 and 2017 travel (57.27%), however there was an increase in Caribbean (5.18%) and US bookings (16.83%) year-on-year.

Despite demand for holidays remaining high, another money related trend identified via a travel industry forum conducted by Sandals last month among leading travel agents was an increase in customers wanting their money to go further.

“Couples certainly still want to go on holiday and get married overseas, however they are more cautious on how much they spend and want more for their money.” said Gillian Ashwood from Brilliant Travel in Scotland.

Last minute bookings were also cited to be on the rise.

Deana Manser, from Travel Club Elite, said: “I am seeing a lot of customers coming to me asking for holidays for next week, in the peak of summer, which is obviously a struggle.”

Homeworker Michele Martin, from Co-operative PTA, said: “Brexit had no effect at all on my business. If anything sales are on the up. I do have a lot of repeat clients with disposable income, so this may have helped.”

John Sullivan at Advantage Travel Partnership added: “With the state of Europe and the hike in hotel pricing, people can now travel long haul at the same price due to rise in price in western Med.”

Karl Thompson, managing director of Unique Vacations, the UK representatives for Sandals & Beaches Resorts, said: “Our post-Brexit research offered us an interesting insight into the current consumer mind-set in the UK.

“We were pleasantly surprised that the results were in line with our recent business performance, which continues to grow despite the current economy.

“With group bookings, including weddings and meetings & incentive travel, up 21% year on year, we feel confident that demand is still high, yet as a trusted brand it is our responsibility to continue to offer value-added holidays for money conscious couples and families looking to swerve the exchange rates and guarantee them with luxury fixed priced holidays.”


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