Holidaymakers are willing to spend less per trip to ensure they go away more over the course of the year, according to deals publisher Travelzoo.
It asked thousands of customers about their travel plans for 2018 in its annual Travel Trends report, and found that 78% of UK members intend to take at least three holidays or short breaks this year, a year-on-year rise of 32%.
However, the number of members intending to spend less on those trips has also risen by 19% compared to 2017. Overall, 96% of respondents plan to travel in 2018, up 6%.
Joel Brandon-Bravo, general manager at Travelzoo in the UK, said: “Those intending to spend less per person per holiday has increased – so the travel industry should take heed that the price-sensitivity of this market isn’t going away soon.
“If the responses of our members are indicative of a wider trend, then the British public want to travel more in 2018, but spend less on each trip, if they can.”
The survey also found that less than 5% do not plan on taking any ‘short breaks’ of up to five nights, down from nearly 10% last year. There was also a 5% increase in those intending to take up to five short breaks. The biggest increase – nearly 9% year-on-year – was among those who plan to take up to two short breaks in 2018.
Members who expect to take at least one ‘full holiday’, defined as five nights or more, long haul or overseas, increased to 35%, a rise of 12% from 2017. Only 5% of members did not expect to take a ‘full holiday’ at all, down 2%, and 72% plan to take up to two ‘full holidays’, 11% more than last year.
In terms of ‘short breaks’, there has been a 12% swing from the mid-range price bracket of £301-£600 per person towards the ‘value’ end of trips costing up to £300.
The survey found that 57% intended to limit their budget to £1,000 per person per ‘full holiday’, 18% up on last year.
Customers’ intention to travel to Spain increased by nearly 20% year-on-year, with 45% of respondents to Travelzoo’s survey planning on travelling to the country. Portugal, France and Turkey were also “gaining traction”, according to the deals publisher.
The USA remains the most popular destination for ‘full holidays’ among Travelzoo members, with 29% saying they plan to travel there in 2018. However, its 4% growth was its slowest for three years and was less than the Caribbean, for which interest grew by 7% to 24%. Tunisia and Dubai also both showed gains year-on-year to enter the ‘top ten’ most desired destinations for 2018.
Beaches and city breaks remain the most popular choice of holidays, up 7% and 3% respectively.
Brandon-Bravo added: “Consumers and travel companies face a complicated landscape in 2018, with interest in cheaper, but more frequent, holidays in conflict with rising prices and the impact of political and economic uncertainties.
“The definite signal from holidaymakers is that they are looking for value. This is good news for travel companies with deals to share, but will put even more pressure on margins at the value-end of the market.
“Continued growth in a desire to visit Spain could lead to a repeat of the capacity challenges we saw last year, which in turn could benefit destinations returning to the international stage, like Turkey and Tunisia, where hotel owners are desperate to fill rooms and flight capacity is returning.”
Meanwhile, visits to Travelzoo’s website were up 10% year-on-year and clicks on the publisher’s January sales roundup have so far been “higher than previous years”.
“We’re receiving very positive feedback from suppliers,” said Brandon-Bravo. “The findings of this survey will help us to maintain that momentum, and we will be working closely with travel companies across the UK to ensure they can leverage the opportunities that these insights identify as effectively as possible.”
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