Almost half of consumers would book a holiday if a good deal was available despite concerns over coronavirus, a new industry poll reveals.
Only 13% of the 1,000 people polled would not book a holiday in the next six months.
Just 17% would not make a holiday booking until they know more about how the situation develops.
A further 17% say they are worried about travelling abroad.
In spite of negative headlines, 44% of British consumers would book a holiday if there is a great deal to be had.
Almost two-thirds (61%) confirmed that publicity around Covid-19 would not stop them from making new holiday bookings.
Crucially, 68% of respondents would happily book their holiday if they could change it at no extra cost and avoid losing money – making flexibility the key priority for the travel industry.
The data also revealed that the older generation is resolute when it comes to booking holidays.
It found that 70% of those aged over 60 are continuing to book, along with 68% of 45-59 year olds and 61% of 30-44 year olds.
The younger generation aged 16-29 are more hesitant to book as a result of media coverage of coronavirus at 53%.
People from the Midlands and the north are the most determined not to let the news dampen their holiday booking habits, in particular, those from Leicester (74%) Manchester (71%) and Leeds (69%). This compares to 45% of Londoners who are still prepared to book.
Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive Julia Lo Bue Said said: “Timing of this research couldn’t be more perfect as we look ahead to the launch of our proactive #KeepCalmTravelOn social media campaign next week, which will encourage and demonstrate to the public that by following FCO advice you can still travel to the majority of destinations for both leisure and business.”
Debbie Flynn, managing partner at travel marketing and PR firm Finn Partners, which conducted the study, said: “Whilst undoubtedly the situation is hitting the industry hard, our research tells us that Brits are unlikely to give up their holidays if the price is right.
“We know from the data that flexible bookings are absolutely critical to retaining consumer confidence. A key area of concern is losing money, whether that’s a ticket for an attraction, a flight or a package.”
She added: “We conducted this research because we wanted to fully understand the current mentality of the British consumer when considering their holiday plans.
“We are encouraged by the results which clearly show the resilience of the British traveller who is motivated to continue to travel by great deals and discounts.
“If travel brands offer unprecedented flexibility in what is usually a peak booking period, and the government isn’t advising against overseas travel, then we believe they will give themselves a fighting chance at encouraging bookings during these uncertain times.”
Meanwhile, new data from insurance firm AllClear Travel found that 60% travellers are not planning to change their travel plans as a result of coronavirus.
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Posted by Travel Weekly UK on Wednesday, March 4, 2020