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UK recession fails to dampen appetite for overseas holidays

UK recession fails to dampen appetite for overseas holidays

The recession is not ruining the UK’s appetite for a good holiday. More people than last year are saying they will take a main holiday overseas (73% in 2013 vs 66% in 2012) and there’s a growing intention to book a holiday of 7 nights or more (95% in 2013 vs 89% in 2012).

These are two of the insights from BDRC Continental’s annual Holiday Trends survey.

For the first time in four years, however, the number planning a ‘staycation’ has dropped. After a dreary 2012, ‘the weather’ is the main reason for the UK being regarded as less appealing than a few years ago. But London bucks this booking trend, boasting an increase in holidays already booked in the capital in 2013 compared with the same period last year. The Olympic legacy evidently lives on, with almost a third (31%) of those who were either considering London as a holiday destination or had already booked a trip to the capital citing the Games as having a positive influence on this decision.

The research also reveals that travellers do not take their holiday decisions lightly. Two fifths of respondents (41%) stated that they use review sites for most / all of the holidays they take, rising to almost half (49%) among those with children. Trust in review sites is strong, with over half (52%) trusting the review to be an accurate overall reflection of the destination. And this trust appears to be well placed – evidence suggests that review writing is not generally dictated by the quality of the holiday experience, with propensity to write one similar regardless of whether the experience was positive or negative.

Steve Mills, Director at BDRC Continental, says: “Following several dire domestic summers for weather, it seems that we are finally beginning to see a softening of the staycation effect and stronger consideration of trips abroad.  Our findings are supported by a strong start to the year for many outbound tour operators and travel agents. With the trend towards late bookings, the market is increasingly volatile, so it will be interesting to see how these trends pan out in the coming months and the impact that the weather and current weakening of Sterling have on the market.”