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Cost of living concerns top Covid for first time during pandemic

Concerns about the rising cost of living top concerns about Covid-19 among consumers, according to the latest research by publisher Mail Metro Media.

Emma Barnes, Mail Metro Media client partnerships director for travel, presented the findings to the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) Expo saying: “For the first time since the start of the pandemic, people in the UK are more concerned about the economy than about Covid.”

Barnes said: “As Covid concerns have started to reduce, the cost of living is on the rise and financial concerns are paramount.”

The research, conducted in October, found 33% of respondents plan to travel in Europe in 2022, up from 21% this year but down from the “51% of our audience who would normally travel to Europe”, according to Barnes.

She explained: “27% of our audience normally travel long haul each year. Only 10% travelled long haul in 2021 and that is increasing to 17% in 2022. So there is still slight resistance to travelling.”

Barnes noted: “The economic downturn won’t be felt by everyone. It will disproportionately hit younger consumers. Financial concerns are far less for the over-55s.”

Among those planning holidays, she said: “Interest in touring and cruise is increasing gradually. Beach is paramount, city breaks are still number two with the younger market and there is an increase in all inclusive.”

She added: “We’re starting to see a return to a normal holiday calendar. We asked when people plan to take holidays in 2022 and shorter breaks are popular in spring, longer holidays in summer.

“The top-three destinations are Italy, Spain and Greece and, now the US is starting to open up, the US is number four.”

However, she noted: “19% of respondents said they are determined to visit their bucket list places in 2022.”

When asked about climate and sustainability, Barnes noted: “32% [of respondents] said travel companies aren’t doing enough to offset carbon emissions, which is significant.”

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