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YouGov poll suggests no boom in outbound bookings

There is little evidence of a boom in overseas holiday bookings since the government’s ‘roadmap’ announcement, according to latest YouGov data.

UK travel companies have claimed a surge in bookings since prime minister Boris Johnson insisted there is “time to make plans for the summer” as he unveiled a four-step roadmap on Monday.

But a poll by online market researcher YouGov on Thursday (February 25) found no increase in the proportion of UK adults who have booked a holiday abroad in the past fortnight.

The poll did find an increase in the proportion of adults who have booked a holiday in the UK.

YouGov asked almost 5,000 UK adults whether they had booked a summer holiday this year.

Just over one in 10 (11%) said they have a holiday booked in the UK, up from 9% when YouGov asked the same question of a similar size group on February 11.

Only 6% had booked an overseas holiday by yesterday. When YouGov asked the same question on February 11, 7% said they had a holiday overseas booked.

A one percentage-point difference is within the margin of error for such a poll. However, the proportion who said they had booked both a UK holiday and an overseas break was 3% in yesterday’s poll compared with 2% on February 11.

This is also within the margin of error, but might suggest some of those who had already booked an overseas holiday two weeks ago have booked a UK break since the announcement on Monday.

The government roadmap gave a provisional start date of April 12 for some domestic holidays.

Of course, two to three days with bookings coming in would be unlikely to shift the overall booking picture by much.

The most-significant shift between the two polls appears to be in the proportion of young adults booking UK holidays. Yesterday’s poll found 14% of 18-24-year-old respondents had booked a UK holiday, compared with 6% on February 11

Four out of five of those polled yesterday (79%) had no holiday booked for this year, broadly unchanged from February 11 when 81% reported not having made a booking.

A government travel taskforce will review measures to restart international travel and report to the prime minister by April 12, with the earliest date for a resumption of travel overseas set at May 17.

YouGov surveyed 4,943 UK adults on February 25 and 5,018 on February 11.

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