Holiday demand 'resilient' despite concerns

Holiday demand 'resilient' despite concerns

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Consumer demand for holidays remains high despite uncertainty about the June 23 referendum on Britain’s EU membership fuelling concerns about the economy.

That is the conclusion of the latest First Rate Holiday Confidence Index, which highlights the “resilience” of demand based on a survey of 5,000-plus UK adults last month.

It found 56% plan a holiday abroad despite a sharp fall in expectations of the economy improving amid repeated warnings about the result of a Brexit vote.

However, there are fears a further fall in the value of sterling due to the uncertainty could affect late bookings.

Alistair Rennie, First Rate Exchange Services head of strategy and innovation, said: “The uncertainty around the referendum is having an undeniable impact on confidence in the economy. You can understand that if you consider the uncertainty about the outcome and impact of the referendum among economic experts.”

But Rennie added: “The timing of the vote is a concern. If the pound weakens further, if we see another sharp drop or a sustained fall, it could have more of an impact in the approach to peak season. There are some real risks to summer trading.”

Research for the quarterly Deloitte Consumer Tracker, published on Monday, found confidence in the economy down 18 points on a year ago and consumers expecting to spend more on essentials and less on big-ticket items in the next three months.

The net proportion expecting to spend more on holidays between now and June was down three percentage points on a year ago.

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