UK consumers determined to travel

UK consumers appear more determined than ever to take an overseas holiday this year with latest research suggesting “more will take an overseas holiday in 2019 than in the last five years”.

The annual BVA-BDRC Holiday Trends report, due to be published later this month, will show a three-point rise year on year to 71% in the proportion of UK adults who anticipate taking an overseas holiday this year.

Two-thirds (66%) expect to take a holiday of four nights or more.

Research firm BVA-BDRC notes that on average about one in four of those intending to travel subsequently do not, but this would still mean more than half the adult population taking an overseas holiday – an increase on 2018 which was a record year for outbound travel from Britain.

Prospective holidaymakers appear undeterred by Brexit despite a “significant” increase in concerns about the impact of Britain leaving the EU.

Half (48%) anticipate needing a visa to travel to the EU, up from 38% a year ago – despite no suggestion that visas will be required.

Almost as many (47%) expect longer queues at airports because of Brexit, up by nine points on January 2018, 44% anticipate “more expensive air travel” – up from 37% last year – and 40% expect a less favourable exchange rate.

One in three (34%) expect increased roaming charges.

The report notes: “Concerns around the impacts have risen significantly since 2018. The thought of longer queues at airports or higher roaming charges may be enough to make undecided Brits opt for a non-EU destination.”

BVA-BDRC research director Jon Young said: “These findings do suggest some level of negative impact on overseas holidays even if it does not yet marry with overall holiday intentions.”

The research suggests more than three in four UK adults (76%) intend to take a domestic holiday, seven points up on January 2018 and the highest rate for five years.

Close to half (44%) plan a domestic holiday of four or more nights – almost double the rate of three years ago.

BVA-BDRC notes the rate of domestic holidays has soared since the 2016 Brexit referendum. However, Young said: “We feel this is driven by the warm summer of 2018.”

However, 31% said they would be less likely to visit the EU following imposition of a €7 electronic visa-waiver fee on UK visitors to Schengen-area countries – which include most EU holiday destinations – under the ETIAS scheme.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) Is due to be introduced from January 2021.

The Holiday Trends 2019 report will be available soon:

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