One in six Brits expect an overseas holiday this year

Two-thirds of UK adults report they are unlikely to take an overseas holiday this year, with barely one in six believing they will have a holiday abroad, according to research for Travel Weekly.

The survey by Service Science and Kantar in May suggests a high degree of caution among consumers even before the government announced a limited list of ‘green’ destinations, insisted people ‘should not travel’ to amber countries and then removed Portugal from the green list of countries.

It found 67% of adults were ‘unlikely to take an overseas holiday’ in 2021, with more than half of respondents agreeing strongly (54%). One in six (17%) were unsure and a similar proportion (16%) disagreed, but only 7% disagreed ‘strongly’ meaning they expect to take a holiday abroad this year.

Two-thirds or more adults aged 25 and above believed it unlikely they would have an overseas holiday, with only the under-25s – among whom 56% thought it unlikely – displaying less pessimism.

Younger adults showed a higher rate of uncertainty, with one in five (22%) of 16-44-year-olds unsure whether they would have a holiday compared with one in 10 (12%) among those 55 and older.

Older adults, aged 55 and above, were more likely to show confidence in going away with one in 10 disagreeing strongly with the idea they would not have a holiday abroad compared with one in 20 (5%) among those under 55.

Just 13% of those aged 25‑54 expected to go abroad this year and only 5% thought so ‘strongly’.

There was little variation in confidence by region or between parents with children at home and other adults. However, one in five parents (21%) appeared unsure whether they would have an overseas holiday and only one in 20 (5%) confident enough to disagree ‘strongly’ with the idea they would not. An additional 8% disagreed ‘slightly’.

When the same researchers asked UK consumers in late October 2020 whether they were likely to take an overseas holiday in 2021, 50% said it was not likely and in a pre-pandemic survey in October 2019 just 30% thought it unlikely.

In October 2020, the proportion expecting not to have a holiday also varied sharply by age, from 34% among younger adults (aged 25-34) and parents with children to 59% among adults aged 55 and above.

By contrast, in October 2019, just one in five consumers under 35 (22%) anticipated not having a holiday abroad and one in four (25%) aged 35-44. Only above the age of 54 did a significant proportion, two in five (38%), not expect to have a holiday.

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