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ABTA reveals Brits’ summer holiday plans during the Olympics

ABTA reveals Brits’ summer holiday plans during the Olympics

With only 6 months to go until London 2012, ABTA - The Travel Association today reveals approximately 2.5 million people are expected to take time off work to attend events in or around the Games in London and other Olympic venues around the UK. According to research commissioned by ABTA, a further five million are expected to take time off to watch the Games on TV in the comfort of their own homes. Overall 40% of the British public are expected to take time off whether at home or abroad during the Games, which run from 27 July to 12 August, one of the busiest times of the year for travel.

The excitement factor
Excitement or apathy about the Games is split fairly equally, with 31% saying that although they will not take time off during the Olympics they are excited about them, while a further 30% say they plan to ignore them. Research shows the generations are split when it comes to feeling excited about the Games. The most fervent Olympics fans are the youngest with 38% of 15-24 year olds saying they are excited about the Games, compared to 28% of over 55s.

Escaping the crowds
Clearly we are not all sports lovers, 12% of Brits say they are intending to go abroad specifically to avoid the Games and 9% are looking to go on holiday somewhere in the UK free from Olympics fever. The older generation appears to be the least keen on staying in the UK; with 22% of the over 65s intending to head overseas to avoid the Games and 18% of 55-64 year olds.

Londoners most likely to change plans
Perhaps unsurprisingly, over a quarter (28%) of Londoners are considering changing their holiday plans due to the Olympics. Nearly 50% say they will take time off throughout the games and 77% say they will be staying in the Capital during the two weeks.

Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications, ABTA said: “With only six months to go until one of the biggest sporting events in our country’s history, it’s clear that hundreds of thousands, especially the young, will be taking time off to enjoy London 2012.  However, for those who don’t love sports or want to escape the crowds, going abroad will provide a welcome alternative.”


Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2018 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2011. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2011.