New research from ABTA suggests that consumers are looking forward to spending more on their holidays next year with ABTA’s Consumer Holiday Trends Report 2014 revealing that 20% of people anticipate spending more on holidays in 2015 compared to 15% who say they will spend less.
While consumers may be feeling more optimistic about next year, this has yet to manifest itself in an increase either in the overall number of Britons taking a holiday or the number of holidays taken per person.
Research shows that there has been a small decline in the number of Brits taking a holiday in the last 12 months, from 83% in 2013 to 80% this year. There has also been a slight decrease in the average number of holidays taken per person, from 3.1 to 3.0, although holidays abroad remain stable at 1.2 per person.
The research shows that nearly seven in ten people (68%) took at least one UK holiday and more than half (53%) took at least one holiday abroad in 2014. Packages remain a popular option with value cited as the major reason for this. The greatest value for money (but not necessarily lowest prices) remains a top ten booking essential for the majority of consumers (66%).
The association's chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “It is clear that despite continuing pressure on the majority of household budgets, people are still keen to preserve their main annual holiday. While the market was very buoyant at the start of the year with consumer confidence on the up, the lates holiday market was tougher, perhaps reflecting the broader dip in consumer confidence in July, as well as good weather in the UK in June and July which we know impacts holiday sales. The research shows there are reasons to be optimistic for next year.”
In the next 12 months more than a third (35%) of consumers think that they will take a holiday to a new country and almost half (48%) say they are quite likely or practically certain to visit a new resort or city. Younger holidaymakers are the most eager to try new destinations with half of 16-24 year olds (49%) saying this is quite likely and a further 16% prepared to say they are certain they will go to a new destination.
Meanwhile, older consumers are more conservative – more than half (56%) of over 65s and half (51%) of 55-64 year olds said that they would definitely not or would be unlikely to visit a country they had never been to.