ABTA unveiled new research today at its annual Travel Matters event revealing the major contribution made to the UK economy by outbound travel. The report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), highlights that UK holidaymakers spend an average of £532 per person on holiday products and services before they have even left the country. In total £31.2bn is spent in the UK each year on foreign holiday planning and preparation, about the same that is spent whilst away (£31.6bn).
The overall figure includes the cost of getting to and from the airport and flights leaving the UK and the report further reveals the massive boost that UK retailers get each year from holidaymakers preparing for their overseas break.
Getting together your holiday wardrobe represents one of the largest overall spends at £1.83bn closely followed by splashing out on duty free goods at £1.77bn. We spend £759m each year on cameras and other electrical goods, and a further £543m on magazines and books to keep us entertained on the beach. Lastly, our love of looking and feeling good on holiday sees us spend £529m on essential suntan lotions and other toiletries as well as over £300m on sunglasses and other accessories.
Retail spend breakdown
1. Clothes and Shoes – £1,832m
2. Duty-free spending -£1,766m
3. Cameras And Accessories - £759m
4. Magazines, books and entertainment -£543m
5. Sun-tan lotion, toiletries and pharmaceuticals -£529m
6. Sunglasses and accessories - £301m
Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Communications said: “Part of the excitement of going away on holiday is about the preparation. For many holidaymakers, splashing out some of their budget on a new summer wardrobe, buying a few new books and magazines and getting their duty free at the airport are all part of the experience. Add to this all of the jobs that are supported in travel agents, at airports and in shops and it is clear that the outbound travel sector makes a very important contribution to the UK economy. This demonstrates conclusively that going abroad on holiday is good for British business.”
The outbound sector also makes a significant contribution to employment in the UK with 624,920 directly employed in the sector and supporting a further 1.26 million jobs in the wider economy.