UK ranks top Internet destination for 2007

Of the 20 million UK internet users who are planning their main 2007 holiday (i.e. a holiday of seven nights or more away from home) the UK is the most desired destination according to Continental Research’s 2007 Holiday Online Planning Report.
For those going abroad, Spain has the greatest appeal, followed by the USA, France, the Far East and Caribbean.

Colin Shaddick Director of Continental Research commented, “It is not likely to be a price issue that attracts the online holiday makers to the UK, as Internet users are more affluent and younger than the population as a whole. They therefore have greater opportunities to travel. What is noticeable is the UK holiday market has improved considerably in recent years, with innovative boutique hotels, well reviewed restaurants and stunning scenery being some of the reasons why people are rediscovering the UK. What’s more, it’s all on our doorstep.”

The West Country, Scotland and Wales are the most popular regions UK holiday makers will be heading for in 2007.

For those favoring a holiday abroad the appeal of sunshine and beaches was given as the main reason. A greater diversity of reasons were mentioned by those intending to holiday in the UK. These included sun and beach as well as visiting family and friends, going to a holiday home, enjoying the mountains, countryside or children attractions.

Shaddick commented “Clearly the UK’s hit and miss weather drives many holiday makers abroad. However, the UK does rate favorably as a main holiday destination for other reasons. In particular the opportunity to visit friends and family, stay in a holiday home, enjoy the mountains and countryside as well as having things to do for the children. This mix of reasons will help the UK appeal to a wider market and explain its growing popularity.”

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OTHER KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT:

? 1 in 10 online UK holiday makers will be travelling alone on their main 2007 holiday.

? The short break market is estimated to grow even further in 2007.

? In 2007 city breaks and visiting friends and family are the most looked forward to short break online users plan to take.

? The UK is a strong market for short breaks with just over half of internet users most looking forward to a short break here. London and Scotland are especially popular short break destinations.

? Luxury hotels have created an attractive market in the UK for short breaks.

? Escaping the day to day routine and having a chance to unwind were key drivers for taking a short break.

? Travellers often randomly search on the ‘net for information about their holiday emphasizing the importance of search in any marketing campaign.

? Official tourist board sites are frequently visited demonstrating the importance and value they provide to visitors.

? Tour Operators and Travel Agents could do more to raise their online presence and create greater ‘top of mindness’ amongst online users.

? 17 million people expect to book some part of their main 2007 holiday online.

? Hotmail is the most popular email address used for receiving correspondence and booking information about travel.
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