The results of a recent poll of 2,000 consumers, which revealed consumer buying habits in the recession was unveiled at The Travel Convention in Barcelona by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

According to the research, consumers are spending more time finding the right holiday deal as they attempt to "buy clever" and save themselves money, while approximately 40% of consumers turn to the internet for research.

The research also showed 35% now only book special offers, 30% are taking fewer holidays, and more than a third are 'staycationing' for their holiday.

Retail and consumer partner Mark Hudson said: "The crunch has given rise to two trends; customers' perceptions of value have shifted dramatically and customers now have access to more information and are getting smarter at saving their money."

The company predicted that the majority of consumers will continue spending their money wisely in the long-term rather than switch to pre-recession spending, but argued that this was highly dependent on the experience of the product or service as opposed to simply saving themselves a few pounds.

Hudson said: "Price is not the only indicator of value it's also the quality of the product. People that deliver in quality will be the winners of the future and this is why we believe the change in consumer buying habits will be permanent."

Other long-term predictions included seeking out promotions; using the internet to find the best deal; spending more time checking prices; buying cheaper flights and using flexible packages.

Head of travel for PwC, Malcolm Preston, said: “Old habits are not dying hard for UK holidaymakers who are evolving through the recession into price savvy consumers - investing more time finding the best deal. Affluence drove speed of booking prior to the downturn. However, as discretionary spend is squeezed, there is no longer a race to reserve, and the competition now lies in getting the most bang for your buck.

“There have been a raft of coping mechanisms employed by holidaymakers in order to preserve their annual break - domestic trips, travelling outside the EU, and the rise of the staycation. This new breed of traveller now values price over convenience, and recognised or previously favoured brands.

"The winners of the industry will be able to identify which part of the holiday a customer values. As the various components of a trip become more separable, there is an opportunity for those who understand this. Travel companies must reduce the selling cost of the holiday by pricing each element of the package according to how the consumer values it.”

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