The desire for a holiday among older UK adults now matches that among younger consumers with the vaccination programme boosting confidence to travel, according to latest Mintel research.

A Mintel survey in late January found 69% of adults aged 55 and over now intend to take a holiday this year, the same proportion as among 16-34-year-olds. The proportion intending to take a holiday among those aged 35-54 was lower at 62%.

However, younger adults remain more likely to travel overseas with two out of five (41%) of those aged 16-34 planning to travel abroad this year, compared with 26% of 35-54-year-olds and 33% of those aged 55 and above.


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By contrast, 28% of 16-34-year-olds plan a domestic holiday compared with 36% of adults aged 35 and over.

Mintel travel analyst Marloes De Vries said: “Since the start of the UK’s lockdown, younger audiences have been most confident in booking holidays. However, the share of over-55s planning to take a holiday in 2021 is now equal to those aged 16-34.

“This generation has the most confidence in their financial situation in the year ahead and will play an important role in the recovery of travel.”

However, De Vries warns travel consumer behaviour could be sharply polarised by the impact of the pandemic with some households financially stretched while others spend more on holidays than normal.

A Mintel report, Holiday Review: UK January 2021, identifies “two extremes in consumer behaviour”.

It notes “Those who have been unaffected financially or have managed to boost their savings will ramp up their holiday expenditure and upgrade to more premium options.

“Those whose financial situation has been impacted or who fear they might lose their job will cut back on the holidays they take or temporarily exit the market.”

Mintel research in January found 75% of those who describe their financial situation as ‘healthy’ plan a holiday in the UK or abroad in 2021 compared with 50% of those in ‘a more difficult situation’.

It found “a large proportion of UK adults managed to reduce their outgoings as a result of Covid-19” and suggested: “Brands have the opportunity to entice this group to splash out on travel in 2021 by offering premium accommodation, private experiences or a longer duration.”

But De Vries warned: “With unemployment expected to rise, economic barriers are likely to become a bigger issue.”


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