ABTA - The Travel Association reveals today that around nine million of the adult population (19%) will be taking a holiday during the Olympics, either in the UK or abroad. About 5% of the population are still undecided about taking a break, meaning that over two million people may be tempted to book a last minute holiday.
Why are people going on holiday?
Almost six out of ten (59%) of those who are taking a holiday said that it was because they always did at this time of year or they just fancied a break. The Olympics fall during the summer school holidays, which is typically one of the most popular times for people to go away. Last weekend, which was the start of the holidays, according to ABTA an estimated two million headed overseas with Spain, Turkey and Greece leading the way as the most popular destinations.
The recent run of bad weather has understandably affected holiday choices with 7% of those planning to head abroad citing it as their primary reason for going. Only just over one in ten (11%) of those going away said they were intending to leave to avoid the Olympic hype and crowds.
The excitement factor
Well over half (59%) of the population said that they are looking forward to the Games, with 7% most looking forward to attending an event, 40% most looking forward to watching events either at home, with friends or elsewhere, and one in ten most looking forward to the positive effect the Olympics will have on the general atmosphere around the country. Almost one in five (18%) of 18-24 year olds say that the general feel good factor is what they are most looking forward to.
It seems enthusiasm about the Games declines with age as 45% of those aged 55 and over say that they are not looking forward to the event at all. 18-24 year olds are also the most likely to be most looking forward to attending an event (13%), compared to only 2% of the over 55s.
Londoners Keenest on the Games
In spite of potential transport worries, seven out of ten (70%) Londoners are looking forward to the games, more than anyone else and they are also the most likely region to be most looking forward to attending an event (14%). But interest wanes north of the Border with only half of Scots saying they are looking forward to the Games.
Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications, ABTA said: “Our research clearly shows that most of us in the UK are really looking forward to the Olympics, whether we’ll be attending events, watching on TV or just soaking up the feel good atmosphere throughout the country. A lot of Britons are also taking a holiday whether that’s because they want some peace and quiet, some guaranteed sunshine or a well-earned break. Many people are also taking advantage of the strong pound and lower prices in the Eurozone. Numbers are fairly consistent with past years showing that whilst some have chosen to forgo a summer holiday during the games, these have been balanced by those wanting to get away.”