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U.K. traveler confidence: Shaken not stirred

U.K. traveler confidence: Shaken not stirred

A new PhoCusWright report examines traveler attitudes and behavior in three major European markets: France, Germany and the U.K.

Even as travel incidence in key European markets recovers from the economic recession, U.K. traveler sentiment has taken a dark turn. A new report from travel industry research authority PhoCusWright finds that while incidence of leisure travel increased across France, Germany and the U.K. in 2011, not all of these markets are feeling positive about the next twelve months.

According to PhoCusWright’s European Consumer Travel Report Second Edition, the incidence of leisure travel increased across all studied markets in 2011, up 8% in France, 4% in Germany and 5% in the U.K. But while French and German travelers exhibited optimism about the next twelve months, the perspective among U.K. travelers was less positive.

“Even before riots tore through the streets of London and other English cities in August, consumer confidence showed clear signs of frailty,” said Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. “Intentions for travel in the upcoming year show that U.K. optimism for key metrics, such as budget for holidays, is neutralized by pessimism and uncertainty.”

Well over twice as many travelers plan to spend more on trips versus less in France and Germany over the next twelve months. In the U.K., however, just 23% plan to spend more, while 25% plan to spend less or are unsure. Similarly, while 32% of German travelers and 30% of French travelers intend to increase their traveling distance in the upcoming year, U.K. travelers reinforced a theme of weaker confidence. Just 23% of U.K. travelers plan to travel farther, while an additional 21% are unsure or plan to decrease their travel distance. But despite U.K. travelers’ iffy outlook, they will remain at the high end of travel consumption as the indicators point to stagnant, but not negative, trends.


PhoCusWright’s European Consumer Travel Report Second Edition examines traveler attitudes and behavior in three major European markets: France, Germany and the U.K. By providing analysis of both concrete behavior – including channel and segment usage, trip frequency and spend – as well as softer elements, such as intentions, influences and attitudes, the report paints an in-depth, comprehensive picture of consumers in each of these markets. In addition to taking stock of the current state of consumer travel, this report provides critical insight into traveler behavior in 2011 by positioning consumer trends within the context of larger trends in the industry. Highlights of the report include:

*  Examination of general traveler behavior, including trip frequency and duration, travel party composition, travel spend and intentions for the upcoming year
*  Summary of air travel and lodging trends, along with analysis of other travel components including car rental and rail travel
*  Analysis of consumers’ approach to the travel planning process – destination selection, shopping and purchasing – as well as how they share their experiences after traveling
*  Detailed review of online and offline channel usage, including the information sources consumers use to select their leisure travel products
*  Examination of booking trends, and the factors that influence consumers to choose one method over another
*  Overview of how consumers use their mobile phones, along with the travel-related phone activities that are beginning to gain traction
*  Analysis of traveler habits for sharing travel experiences, including social network usage and activities