The travel industry could be about to see an increase in the number of people booking holidays abroad over the next 12 months, according to the latest Holiday Confidence Index (HCI) from First Rate Exchange Services.
Compared with a year ago, the report for winter 2014 reveals an encouraging change in attitudes about overseas travel across all six indices that make up the overall HCI. The most significant of these is that more people are planning to travel abroad and expect to do so more frequently. As a result, the HCI has risen two points to 51, its highest level.
This rise in holiday confidence coincides with a growing belief among consumers that their jobs are safe. More than two-in-five (41%) of the 5,017 adults aged 18 and over polled for the winter HCI are confident of job security for the next 12 months, a four-point rise on the position a year ago. This increases to 48% of those who are planning to holiday abroad in the coming year – underlining the importance that job security plays in shaping attitudes to overseas travel.
Alistair Rennie, First Rate Exchange Services' head of innovation & insight, said: “Against a backdrop of low inflation, a growing economy and a definite sense that jobs are more secure, it is no wonder that Brits are feeling more confidence to plan holidays abroad in the coming year.
“Set against this, while almost a third of people (31%) say they expect the economy to continue to recover in the next 12 months, 5% more than a year ago, that confidence has fallen from a summer high of 35%. This suggests that consumers remain watchful, perhaps understandably, as our poll took place around the time of the Scottish Referendum and we are now only months away from a General Election, which could unsettle the economy.”
In the light of widely-reported predictions of an upward move in interest rates in the coming months, the Winter Holiday Confidence Index identifies the first signs of concern about the impact that a rate rise might bring to holiday spending power. Around a quarter (24%) of the survey respondents felt that rising interest rates would negatively affect their holiday plans.
On the plus side, the HCI reveals a substantial 7% rise in consumers who believe overseas holidays represent good value for money, with 57% of people planning trips abroad now holding this view and 44% saying they will cut spending in other areas to holiday abroad.
The report can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org