Analysis: Brits show caution about recovery

Analysis: Brits show caution about recovery

Just 35% of UK adults are planning an overseas holiday this year, according to a survey for Travel Weekly.

Research by TNS suggests the consumer view of the UK economy is less rosy than the Bank of England’s, and holiday demand this year may be as tight as in any recent year. Bank governor Mervyn King announced this month that ‘recovery is in sight’.

Of the 35% of UK adults planning an overseas holiday this year, just over half had booked by the beginning of April. But almost one in three of those planning a holiday expect to have less to spend than a year ago.

TNS surveyed just over 2,000 UK adults in early April. It found one in three adults less confident about the economy than a year ago. Half considered the outlook for their household “about the same” as last year, with the remainder more optimistic.

Women appeared somewhat less optimistic than men, and older adults significantly less so than younger, with 42% of over-55s declaring they were less optimistic.

Asked about the impact of the chancellor’s Budget in March, one third thought they would be worse off. Few expected to be better off, with a majority opting for “about the same” or uncertain.

However, those aged 35-54 – the group most likely to take an overseas holiday – were most likely to feel they would be worse off, 43% considering the Budget left them out of pocket compared with a quarter of 16 to 34-year-olds and a third of over‑55s.

Adults with children were more likely than those without to think they would be worse off (39%). Those without children appeared more uncertain about the outlook. Perhaps surprisingly, Londoners were as likely as anyone to expect to be worse off (38%).

When TNS asked about holidays, it found almost half the adults (48%) had taken an overseas break in the past two years and 61% in the past five. Londoners were most likely to have had a holiday abroad in the past two years (58%), with those in the Midlands least likely (42%).

More than half (54%) of those aged 35-54 had been away in the past two years, against 42% of over-55s. Half of women had been away against 45% of men. Those without children were slightly more likely than those with to have had a holiday in the past two years (49% against 46%). However, there was a seven‑percentage point difference in favour of those with no children having had a holiday in the past 15 months.

Asked about their holiday intentions this year, 35% said they planned an overseas holiday or short break. One in 10 (11%) planned a UK break and 54% had no holiday plans. Almost one in five (19%) had already booked an overseas trip, with 9% “planning” a holiday abroad and 8% “considering” a holiday.

Adults living in the southeast were most likely to be going away (42%), but the rate among Londoners was just 31%.

Those in the age range 35-54 were also most likely to take a holiday abroad, with 45 to 54-year-olds the most likely to have booked already. Younger adults were less likely to have booked (16%), but with a higher proportion planning to go away (22%).

Among those anticipating taking an overseas holiday, 31% expected to spend less this year than last, with the proportion varying from 26% among 16 to 34-year-olds to 35% among over-55s. Notably, one in four (26%) better-off households expected to spend less.


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