Analysis: Bookings look bright for 2015

Analysis: Bookings look bright for 2015

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Almost half of UK adults expect to take an overseas holiday this year and a third intend to spend more than in 2014. By Ian Taylor

Half of UK adults who have taken a holiday in the past plan a break overseas in 2015, according to research for Travel Weekly.

The study by consumer research company TNS found 49% intend to take a foreign holiday, up two percentage points on a year ago – 31% saying they were ‘very likely’ to have an overseas holiday and 18% ‘quite likely’. A further 8% were undecided (chart: ‘Likelihood of an Overseas Holiday in Next Year’, page 54).

The exclusive research forms a major part of the Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2014, which is now available.

Those aged 45-54 appear most confident about booking a holiday abroad, with 37% ‘very likely’ and 58% ‘likely’ to do so this year – up 12 percentage points on a year ago.

However, the overall likelihood of consumers booking an overseas trip was just two percentage points up year on year and some age groups and UK regions showed a small decrease in sentiment on last year. This was most marked among 55 to 64-year-olds, whose expectation of booking an overseas holiday was down five percentage points year on year.

Adults living in the south of England appear more confident than elsewhere, with 55% likely to book a holiday abroad in 2015, up from 51% a year ago, against 47% in the Midlands and 43% in the north. This was despite a deterioration in expectation of booking a holiday abroad among consumers in London – down from 58% likely a year ago to 55% in the year ahead.

More than one in three (36%) of those expecting to take a holiday abroad anticipated spending more than last year, against 14% expecting to spend less. One in 10 said they would spend ‘a lot more’ (chart: ‘Likely Spending on Next Overseas Holiday’).

The difference between those who expect to spend more and those to spend less was up by nine percentage points to 22%, with almost half (47%) of the total who plan to go away expecting to spend about the same.

The sharpest improvement in anticipated spending was among high-income households, who showed a 21-point increase in the number expecting to spend more over those planning to spend less. However, there was a 15-point improvement year on year in the north and a 14-point improvement in London.

Younger adults aged 16-34 showed a 14-point improvement in spending intention year on year, and adults in full‑time work a 10-point rise.

Crucially, more than four out of five respondents (84%) who generally take at least one overseas holiday a year were planning a holiday in 2015, up from 81% a year ago – giving grounds for cautious optimism that the market could see some growth.

The study found seven in 10 or 68% of adults took a holiday or short break away from home in the course of the year, down from 73% in 2013. TNS group director Tom Costley, who oversaw the study, described this as “a significant decrease”.

The decline appears to be in domestic trips, with 58% saying they took at least one domestic holiday in 2014 against 62% in 2013; and 57% said they were likely to do so in the next 12 months.*TNS questioned 1,985 UK adults face to face as part of its TNS Omnibus survey at the end of October.

The Travel Weekly Insight Annual Report 2014 is available from travelweekly.co.uk/insight2014

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