When surveyed, more than 43% of Brits said that a holiday was what they were most looking forward to this year, and rather than cutting back on the occasion, the operator's sales suggest that consumers are now far more likely to make the most of their holiday allowance by opting for something extra special.
Key trends identified in the survey include Upgrades: investing in extra comfort; Longer stays: travelling for longer duration; and opting for experiential destinations.
In terms of luxury upgrades, compared to last year, the number of Silver Service short breaks sold by the operator is up by 33% this year, with as many as seven out of ten customers opting for the service when booking. Facilities include extra leg room, on-coach entertainment with free headphones, on-board climate control and a spacious rear lounge.
When it comes to booking a holiday, it’s not just the destinations or types of travel that people are investing in but the length of holiday too. As a result of this trend, the operator has seen a substantial rise in the sales of its tours of 12 days or more, recording a 40% year-on-year uplift.
Creating a holiday around a must-see destination or experience is also becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers. Rather than concentrating solely on rest and relaxation, holidaymakers are looking for locations which offer an added sense of achievement or the opportunity to experience things they haven’t witnessed before.
Events such as Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix and the Floriade 2012 Expo are currently some of the operator's most popular destinations, while for families Disneyland Paris is one of the most sought after experiences.
The operator's marketing director, Huw Williams, said: “Holidays have always provided that all important respite from day to day life. However, when facing economic climates like we see today, they become so much more vital for our well-being. As such, rather than budgeting or cutting back on their annual escapes; consumers are investing in them in order to making the very most of their time away. It’s a real sign that people are more aware of the value of money and the importance of quality when it comes to something as critical as a break away.”