The all inclusive holiday sector is set to grow exponentially over the next few years despite the current economic climate, Club Med predicts.

Figures from research firm GfK reveals that the UK all-inclusive market has grown 32% within the last five years and represented 3.1 million passengers last year. Within that, sales growth for premium all inclusive resorts is running at more than double the rate of other ‘all in’ properties, according to the study.

Overall sales of all inclusives was up by 9% in winter 2010/11 and 11% in summer 2011. At the same time premium all inclusives achieved 15% and 24% growth respectively.

The segment now accounts for one in four all inclusive bookings and is predicted to double within the next few years. Club Med predicts.

Club Med’s Premium All Inclusive report reveals that more than half of British consumers have already taken an all inclusive holiday.

One in ten people are looking for an all inclusive holiday this year with 20% of those earning more than £60,000 seeking a ‘premium all inclusive’ holiday.

The report found that British travellers are changing holiday habits as a result of the economic climate, with travellers citing ‘value’ as their most important reason in booking an all inclusive holiday followed closely with ‘stress-free’ and ‘safety’.

The study report looks specifically at the premium all inclusive market using independent market data and consumer research provided by GfK which analysed 40 UK operators, representing more than 90% of the UK package holiday market.

Club Med’s half-year financial results last week revealed a 5% rise in its UK bookings in a market where bookings are typically down 7%.

Managing director UK, South Africa and Nordics Laurent de Chorivit said: “In a challenging economic environment, it is not unusual to witness new trends and habits emerge.

“This report was commissioned to help us understand better our consumers and also examine the potential of the UK holiday market.

“The research show that the premium all-inclusive market with double in the next five years – an exceptional opportunity for Club Med.”

He added: “Club Med has already invested more than £1 billion and will continue to develop its upscale strategy reflecting the demand of a new clientele.”

Recent refurbishments by the company include Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med Yasmina and Club Med Phuket.

A new luxury resort in the Italian Alps, Club Med Pragelato Vialattea, is due to open in December followed by Club Med Belek in Turkey in spring 2013.