UK holiday spend reaches $182 bn

UK holiday makers are shelling out a whopping £97.3 billion on holidays during 2006, according to new research from AXA Insurance.

The research explored all aspects of booking a holiday, from booking flights and hotels to spending money and all the new purchases, tours, bookings and excursions that are associated with travel.

Nick Kidd, head of lifestyle protection and household claims, AXA Insurance said: ‘With so much being spent on holidays and travelling abroad, it is now more important than ever to have travel insurance. However, in the excitement of booking a trip many people forget to buy their cover or wrongly assume that they don’t need it. The reality is you don’t know what could happen to you whilst on holiday and travel insurance is therefore as important as taking your passport or toothbrush.’

Whilst the majority of people (53%) will take between one and three holidays, one in ten expect to treat themselves to as many as four or five getaways! In addition 2.1 million people will take more than five breaks.

So with holidays as popular as ever, which are the most favoured destinations with holidaymakers this year? As well as popular destinations, such as France, Spain, Greece and the USA, holidaying in the UK and Ireland is also proving to be ‘in-style’ with 68% (over 22.4 million) of us taking a holiday closer to home this year.


UK and Ireland also proves to be most popular with the over 65s with three quarters choosing to holiday here this year. And people in Yorkshire/Humberside (82%) are more likely to holiday in the UK/Ireland.

AXA’s 2006 holiday research also asked consumers about the types of holidays they were taking throughout the year. The most popular by far is good old fashioned hotel/apartment and beach break, which attracts 65% of us. This is closely followed by the city and beach multi-site holiday (60%) and the fly-drive (44%). Least popular were holiday camps, cruising and safari holidays.