University finds more holidaymakers are booking trips abroad

Publication of the latest Holiday Confidence Index, first created by First Rate Exchange Services in 2013 in partnership with the University, YouGov and the Institute of Travel and Tourism, shows more people are planning an overseas holiday.

Poor British weather was revealed to be a major factor in almost half of holidaymakers planning a trip abroad, suggesting that the winter storms have been an influence.

The index reveals a two-point rise, to 44 per cent, on the last index, which was published in September, primarily because more people say they are planning trips in the coming year while fewer have resolved not to travel abroad.

University tourism researchers, led by Dr Ade Oriade have played a key role in the analysis of the research data. Published three times a year, the index is based on a survey of 5,000-plus UK adults. First Rate uses the results to produce indices on consumer holiday intentions, frequency, duration and spending and, from these, an overall Confidence Index.

Peter Robinson, Head of Department for Marketing, Innovation, Leisure and Enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton Business School, said: “These encouraging findings from the latest Holiday Confidence Index provide evidence that the holiday market will reap the benefits of consumers’ belief that the British economy is moving forward and with it the potential for sounder personal finances.

“However, there are clear signs of caution. Holidays may be an important part of life to large numbers of people but these latest survey results suggest that consumers are still being prudent in their budgeting.”

The survey, undertaken in February, found the number of consumers intending to take an overseas holiday in the next 12 months had risen by three percentage points on September to 57 per cent.

More than half had already booked a foreign holiday and 30 per cent had a second trip abroad booked.

But there is still evidence of wallet-watching, with over half budgeting for the same spend as the previous year. Other key findings show Europe is by far the most popular destination, internet booking is the preferred route for over three-quarters of consumers and nearly half of families will pick package holidays or an all-inclusive trip.

Alistair Rennie, First Rate’s Head of Business Decisions, said: “This is by far the most optimistic of the surveys we’ve done. We’ve reached a point where we’re starting to see consumer confidence feed into the market.”

The survey suggests the storms at the start of the year had an impact, with 46 per cent saying they were more likely to head abroad as a result. The effect was strongest among 35 to 44-year-olds, the age group most likely to travel as families, with 51 per cent saying they would go abroad for the weather.

ENDS

For more information please contact Emma Pugh in the Press Office on 01902 322736.

Date Issued: Monday April 28, 2014

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