A holiday is no longer a necessity for UK consumers with tax increases pricing them out of travel, reveals research by World Travel Market released today (Monday 7 November).
Almost four out of ten (38%) consumers did not go on a holiday in 2011, reveals the World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report.
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, had to survey more than 1,600 people to find 1,000 that holidayed – seven days overseas or in the UK – in 2011.
The findings dispel the industry myth that UK consumers see holidaying as a necessity and not a discretionary purchase.
Furthermore, almost six out of ten (59%) had only been on one holiday in 2011, indicating the impact the global financial downturn has had on the UK travel industry.
Almost one third of holidaymakers said they would travel less often due to the increased cost of travelling through taxes, such as Air Passenger Duty which was increased last November and raised £2.1 billion in the 2010/11 financial year.
More than a quarter (26%) saw APD rises as a major issue but would continue to travel but on a lower budget.
Interestingly, 5% of the 1,000 holidaymakers polled said they did not go abroad on holiday for the first time this year due to increased cost of flying, bought on by the increases in Air Passenger Duty.
There are fears the government will announce further APD rises – potentially twice the size of inflation - in its Autumn Forecast Statement on 29 November, so the Treasury can hit it 2016 target of £3.6 billion.
World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “The global financial downturn has meant UK consumers have had to justify every penny they spend.
“This has had a real impact on the travel industry. Prior to the recession many consumers went on a number of holidays, both home and abroad, a year.
However, many have now reduced their number of holidays or stopped going on holiday at all. This trend alongside the increases in taxes – including Air Passenger Duty – have made it very difficult for the travel industry to entice consumers back to holidaying.”