A continuing squeeze on disposable incomes will lead to a change in holiday habits amongst Britons, but that will lead to opportunities for the domestic market – that was the message conveyed to dozens of holiday park owners and operators at the annual Hoseasons Holiday Park Owners Conference.
Douglas McWilliams of the Centre for Economic and Business Research told delegates that rising travel costs, especially air travel, squeezed real incomes and the continued weak pound will all impact on the holiday choices made by UK consumers over the coming years.
He said that British families are likely to adopt coping strategies to deal with restricted incomes, including changing destinations and taking shorter breaks, while a possible boost to low-to-middle earners caused by rising personal tax allowances will lead to opportunities for destinations catering for this market sector.
Hoseasons Group managing director Geoff Cowley told delegates at the conference that the domestic market was performing well despite current economic conditions.
He said: "I believe we remain in a strong position as we look ahead although I don’t for a moment think it means we are in for a smooth or easy ride.
“I genuinely believe that our kind of self-catering holidays give modern families the time and experiences together that they crave – at prices they deem good value.”
Cowley also urged park operators to meet the needs of consumers who use their holiday time in smaller chunks and for an increasing variety of different reasons. He said: “Whether it’s family time, grandchildren time, special birthdays or celebrations, or just me-time relaxing or enjoying hobbies with friends, they are all great opportunities for us.”