Poll finds 41% of Scots plan a holiday in Europe this year

Two out of five adults in Scotland plan an overseas holiday in Europe this year and an additional 12% plan a long-haul holiday.

That is according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults at the end of January by research firm 56 Degree Insight which found 41% of Scots planning a European holiday, up two percentage points on a year ago.

Three out of four respondents (75%) said they plan a holiday, overseas or domestic, this year despite two in five (38%) reporting the high cost of living would likely impact on their holiday decision.

The survey found four out of five (82%) of those planning holidays in Europe and 86% planning long-haul trips likely to book two or more months in advance, and one in three (34%) more likely to book with a tour operator this year because of the consumer protection this offers.

Three out of 10 respondents (29%) said they were concerned about the cost of overseas holidays, on a par with a year ago but down four percentage points on the result last August, and roughly half as many respondents (16%) expressed concern at the exchange rate of the pound.

But 36% said they would reduce spending elsewhere to protect their holiday budget. The survey found half (51%) of respondents less likely to eat out and 44% less likely to take day trips because of the cost of living.

It found 39% of adults in Scotland had a holiday in Europe in 2023, up six percentage points on the previous year, with Spain the most popular destination, chosen by 17% of all Scots – almost half of whom went to the Canary Islands – followed by France with 5% and Italy, Turkey, Portugal and Greece each on 4%.

The researchers suggested Scotland’s domestic tourism suffered last year both from pressures on spending and more Scots taking overseas trips. They suggested this year “looks slightly more promising” for domestic holidays but noted “evidence that domestic trips will be shorter with more cautious spend”, while “trips to Europe are likely to increase”.

● 56 Degree Insight surveyed 1,006 adults in Scotland on January 27-29 for its quarterly Scotland’s Viewpoint survey. To read the report, visit:

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