Surge in consumer holiday sentiment

Surge in consumer holiday sentiment

Confidence in the UK economy has soared from a pre-Brexit referendum low, with more than one in two consumers still planning a holiday abroad in the next 12 months.

That is the conclusion of the latest Holiday Confidence Index from First Rate Exchange Services which found a 14-point rise in confidence in the economy compared with its last survey in April.

The index is based on an online survey of more than 5,000 UK adults, whose responses on their intention to take a holiday, frequency and duration of holiday and spending plans are combined to produce an overall confidence-rating Index.

The survey found a two-point fall year on year to 53% in the proportion planning an overseas holiday, but the figure remains high.

The overall index for winter 2016 is down just one point on 12 months ago and, while two of the six indices – on holiday intention and frequency – were down, all three on holiday spending rose, leading First Rate to conclude: “Consumers appear far more bullish about the UK economy [than might be expected].”

Liam Hodge, head of insight at First Rate Exchange Services, said the results “came as a bit of a surprise”. He said: “There was a sharp dip [in confidence] immediately after the referendum, but by September people appear much more confident.

“It’s encouraging, but there is a need for caution [because of] the rise in inflation linked to the increased cost of importing food and fuel. Once Article 50 [on Brexit] is triggered, it could look different.”

He suggested people’s expectations of spending more on overseas holidays in the next 12 months “is linked to the weak pound. People will have to spend more to have the same experience as this year.”

In more good news for the trade, Hodge noted: “A higher level of awareness of Atol-protection, linked to the collapse of Lowcost Holidays [in July]. A lot of people realised they weren’t protected. It brought the issue to the forefront.”


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