Almost half of British holiday makers plan to go further afield to get away from it all this year
• Brits who Staycate, stagnate, while those who Awaycate, rejuvenate
• Most popular awaycations – India, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey
• Experience for money as important as value for money despite the economy
• More than 40% want new experiences on holiday this year
• Brits want to escape from weather, work, chores, economy, emails/mobiles and bad news
While 2009 was the year of the Staycation, the new travel trend for 2010 is the Awaycation – getting away from it all both in terms of distance travelled and experience-wise. Tired of the doom and gloom of Britain and the virtual world of their computer screens, a new study by leading tour operator Thomson* shows that Britons are flocking to long haul and experiential destinations that provide a sense of discovery, in more ways than one.
Long haul bookings are up 14% according to Thomson, and the top five most popular Awaycations are India, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. Such is the demand for more far flung locations and sense-ational holidays, that Thomson is introducing direct flights to Costa Rica this year (the only airline to fly direct from the UK) and bookings for its Thomson Sensatori resorts, which offer holidays to stimulate all the senses, are up 56% in 2010.
According to Dermot Blastland, Managing Director Thomson & First Choice, “Our latest figures show that Brits are determined to take a real break this summer and its awaycations all the way – not just sun and sand, but new cultures and locations.
“Consumers who hung back last year are more confident about spending this year and are benefiting from better deals outside of the Eurozone. Our research shows that people are saying cobblers to the staycation, we need a proper holiday this year.”
The new study shows that almost half of people are looking to go further afield and have new experiences on holiday this year – with 95% of people saying experience is just as important as value for money. This contradicts what staycaters said about their holiday plans for 2010, back in 2009, when 4 in 5 people were planning to holiday in the UK again**.
The top criteria for Brits to truly feel that they have got away from it all and are on an Awaycation, are a different time zone (26%), distance – by getting on a plane (43%), language (43%) and culture and routines (48%), but above all are different sensual experiences in terms of new smells (49%), a hotter climate (53%) and sights (73%). Staying in a hotel was also rated very highly, given that people want to get away from everyday chores such as cooking and cleaning - not surprisingly women rate hotels more important than men (50% vs 39%).
Psychologist Kairen Cullen, who undertook focus groups as part of the study, found that the most important elements to truly feeling away from it all are physically experiencing a different environment and less predictability, in contrast to the normal day-to-day routine.
According to Kairen, “Over the past couple of years many people have opted to have a staycation in the UK, however they felt that they were not gaining any tangible benefit from such a holiday. This year we can see a real shift towards a break that will take people out of themselves, help them to grow and allow them to disconnect physically and emotionally from work, family and bad news in the media. And with much of our time spent in front of computers these days, our bodies are clearly craving a more sensory experience which a long haul holiday delivers in terms of smell, taste and sounds. It appears that we stagnate if we staycate, whereas those that awaycate are able to rejuvenate both mind and body.”