Media coverage of the government’s intention to relax quarantine measures in the run-up to last week’s announcement of a Covid travel list of countries boosted the intention to take an overseas holiday this summer among a minority of consumers.

But research suggests the majority remain to be convinced it will be safe to travel.

A YouGov survey on July 1 found just 11% of UK adults “intend to go on a summer holiday abroad” this year. The findings, from a survey of 2,000-plus respondents, tallies with latest BVA-BDRC research which found 12% of UK adults intend to take an overseas holiday by the end of September.

This was the highest figure since early May, and one in four (24%) said they intended to take a holiday abroad by the end of the year.

The YouGov survey also found a higher proportion of likely holidaymakers in London (19%), among the young (15% of those aged 18-24) and those from better-off households (13%).

But the figures reflect overall caution. More than three in four (77%) in the YouGov survey said they had no intention of travelling abroad.

BVA-BDRC reported the average lead time to taking an overseas holiday had fallen by more than two months to seven months over the five weeks to its most-recent research on June 23-25 – the day before the government confirmed the relaxation of quarantine restrictions to a ‘Covid travel list’ of countries.

Almost one in five (19%) in the BVA-BDRC study said they would book a flight by the end of September – up three percentage points week on week – and one in three (32%) said they would do so by the year end.

There was a sharper rise in intention to take a UK holiday, although a majority appear to remain cautious also about immediate domestic travel.

One in five (21%) said they would take a UK holiday by the end of August – up four points week on week – and one in three (34%) said they would do so by the end of September, a seven‑point rise week on week.

More than half (54%) expressed an intention to have a domestic holiday by the end of year – up six points on the previous week.

BVA-BDRC noted “only small shifts from week to week” in short-term intentions in its weekly survey of about 1,760 UK adults.

However, Spain dislodged Britain at the top of UK consumers’ holiday plans, according to a daily Destination Index launched by YouGov last week. It recorded Spain as the leading holiday choice, followed by the UK, Portugal, France and Italy, after tracking consumer perception of almost 40 destinations through June in advance of travel’s restart. YouGov reported the UK lost the number-one spot as the government released plans for quarantine-free travel.

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