Almost half of UK adults fear their economic situation will deteriorate in 2012.
Just one in ten appear confident, according to a TNS consumer survey for Travel Weekly.
One in six respondents (16%) professed to having “a lot less confidence” going into 2012 and 31% “less confidence”. Two out of five said they expect no change in their finances.
Half or more of those aged 35 and above fear their circumstances will worsen next year - with 55% of 45-64 year-olds not confident, along with 53% of those aged 65 and above, and 50% of 25-34 year olds.
Confidence was no higher among the better off: 48% of upper and middle class and white-collar respondents were ‘less confident’ about the future.
Those who had a holiday this year were just as pessimistic, with 49% not confident about their finances - more than four times the proportion who were upbeat.
However, people seem likely to reduce spending on holidays rather than cut them out all together.
One in 10 said they were less likely to holiday outside the UK, 19% to spend less on holiday and 15% to travel less often.
Just 2%-4% said they were more likely to go abroad next year, would travel more often or stay away longer. Only 1% expected to spend more, but 35% were unlikely to modify their plans.
The proportion likely to spend less was highest among 25-54 year-olds. Those least likely to modify their plans were the over-55s.
The highest rate of those likely to spend less (23%) was among skilled workers. Adults in London appear most likely to travel less (21%) and to spend less (25%).
Among those who had a holiday abroad this year, 18% were likely to travel less in 2012 and 22% to spend less.
How many went away in 2011?
The research also looked at the size of the holiday market this year. It suggests almost two out of five adults took an overseas break in 2011.
Research firm TNS found 39% of a sample of more than 2,000 adults had been abroad on holiday during the year or planned to go before the end of December.
Those aged 55-64 were most likely to have taken a holiday (45%), with the over-65s least likely (30%).
The better off were most likely to holiday abroad: 48% of those in upper and middle class or white-collar households doing so compared with 28% among the rest of the population.
Households without children were more likely to go abroad - 41% of adults without kids did so compared with 36% with children.
People in Scotland were also more likely to go away than those in other regions - 52% doing so compared with average rates of 41% across the north, 36% in the Midlands and 39% in the south. The rate in the south east (43%) was higher than in London (38%).
The northeast, Yorkshire and Humberside, West Midlands, east and southwest of England all recorded overseas holiday rates below the UK average.
TNS surveyed 2,018 UK adults face to face on October 5-9.
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