City breaks overtake beach in Travelzoo poll

City breaks have overtaken beach holidays in Travelzoo’s consumer survey, with most holidaymakers open to visiting new places.

The biannual survey in May of 1,807 Travelzoo members also highlighted a big opportunity for 2024 sales, with only 20% of those polled having already booked for next year.

Beach holidays have come first in the survey at this time of year since it launched in 2018 but in October 2022’s poll last year city breaks edged up, beating beach by 5%. This May, cities were 8% ahead.

After city breaks, which were chosen by 68% of respondents, the most popular trips were beach (60%) followed by cultural or historical sightseeing or experiences (49%). Cruise came in fourth, followed by train journeys and then escorted tours, road trips and food and wine holidays.

When asked what they would like to do on holiday, 46% said they would like to visit somewhere completely new; 39% had no preference and were open to ideas while 15% would visit somewhere they know and love.

Members were also prioritising leisure travel (74%) and most were looking forward to relaxing and getting away from it all (44%), said the travel deals website. This backs up recent results of a poll of 10,000 consumers by IT services firm Accenture, which showed 73% would spend their disposable income on travel ahead of home improvements and eating out in the next 12 months.

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When asked what consumers were doing to stretch their holiday budget, 65% told Travelzoo they would hunt for deals, 62% said they would travel outside the peak season, 34% said they would book an all-inclusive stay and 19% said they would opt for self-catering.

More than half of those polled (54%) were planning at least two more trips this year. When asked about travel next year, 80% had not yet booked a holiday. Of the 20% who have booked, the overwhelming majority (90%) intended to book more than one trip next year.

Of those who haven’t yet booked, 25% said they were at the research stage and 30% had no destination in mind yet.

In terms of responsible tourism, the top consideration was overcrowding, with 47% wanting to avoid that in resort and second was shopping locally, with 44% wanting to eat at local businesses.

Just under half polled (45%) said they would prefer to book a package including a hotel, flights and/or transfers while 21% prefer to put the holiday together themselves, and 34% didn’t have a preference.

James Clarke, Travelzoo’s UK general manager, said the results were encouraging and showed the appetite to travel, have new experiences and prioritise travel.

He said: “It’s been a good year so far. We are excited about what the next six months will bring.

“I think we will see people being very picky and thinking about where they spend their money and trusted brands will come into that. A huge amount of our customers are looking at 2024 as their new booking window; I think we will see a much bigger early booking market.”

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