UK consumers ‘have not lost their appetite to travel’

UK consumers “have not lost their appetite to travel” according to research firm Mintel, with a study suggesting one in three still intend to take an overseas holiday this year.

Mintel research in late January found two-thirds (66%) of UK adults intend to take a holiday in the UK or abroad despite the current lockdown and restrictions on travel.

One in five (21%) said they plan an overseas holiday in Europe and 10% a trip beyond. One in 11 (9%) were undecided. Just one in three (34%) had no plans for a holiday.

The research found 11% already had a domestic or overseas holiday booked this year, 4% intended to book by the end of March, 8% to book between April and June and 12% to book later. An additional one in three (32%) said they intend to book but had not decided when.

Mintel analyst Marloes de Vries concluded: “Brits have not lost their appetite to travel. Brands can expect a surge in bookings, first when the re-opening date for travel is announced and second when restrictions are lifted.”

She suggested overseas travel will recover more slowly than domestic “due to the likeliness of entry restrictions and requirements for travel to or from certain countries” but said: “Overseas beach holidays are in high demand. Demand is there. Success will mostly depend on how well the UK and overseas countries get the virus under control.”

Mintel noted a reversal of normal booking patterns with domestic holidaymakers likely to book earlier than normal and overseas trips more likely to be booked close to departure.

De Vries said: “Holidaymakers will opt for brands that demonstrate travellers’ health, holiday experience and payments are protected.”

She added: “As Covid restrictions have made planning overseas breaks more complex, brands should invest in simplifying holiday planning and booking, such as by integrating Covid-19-related measures into search technology.”

•The research was conducted among 500 UK adults on Jan 21‑26. Mintel’s Holiday Review UK January 2021 report is available here

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