Quarter of Brits will haggle over price with travel agents

A quarter of Brits will always negotiate for a better deal from holiday companies and agents, with only 11% accepting the first price quoted.

The figures from the first Visa Europe Holiday Report reflect news from travel agents that consumers have become even more focused on haggling to get a good deal due to the recession.

The biggest hagglers are holidaymakers living in the southwest, followed by those in the northeast. More than half, 56%, spend time researching holidays to get the best price.

However, the report said consumers’ attitudes to budgeting often disappear once in resort, with 39% claiming they will blow the budget this year, and 63% saying they will overspend by up to £200 per week.

The report, which surveyed just over 1,000 holidaymakers online between the end of May and the beginning of June, disputes the ‘staycation’ trend, with 35% of Brits planning at least two holidays this year, and 60% choosing a beach-based break.

The survey showed 21% plan more holidays than last year, with the average break lasting 11 to 14 days.

Nearly half of those surveyed, 42%, favoured dynamic packaging trips abroad, choosing to book flights and accommodation separately, while just 22% said they are still booking package holidays.

But the report suggests booking habits have not changed, with one-third of people surveyed saying they book at least three months in advance. This is despite reports of a widespread trend for later bookings this year.

Visa Europehead of products and delivery Euan Ballantyne said the report showed people were determined to take their holiday, despite the current economic climate.

He said: “It looks like people are saving to have their holiday abroad, with the notion that holidays are sacrosanct. Interestingly, it disputes the ‘staycation’ idea as it shows people are going [abroad] on holiday. While camping in the UK is having a renaissance, it’s not a seismic shift, but people are being less frivolous and ensuring they get value for money.”

In terms of holiday spend, more than half of those surveyed expect to spend at least £600 on travel and accommodation this year per person, with a further £250 spent on eating and drinking. Cutbacks, according to the report, will come in the form of taking less gifts home to family and friends.


Top 10 haggling regions

By percentage of shoppers prepared to haggle

  • Southwest: 36%
  • Northeast: 31%
  • East: 30%
  • Yorkshire: 27%
  • Northwest: 27%
  • London: 24%
  • Midlands: 22%
  • Southeast: 22%
  • Scotland: 21%
  • Northern Ireland: 17%

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