ABTA has today released its Travel Trends 2015 Report , developed in association with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The report reveals that consumer confidence is slowly returning to the holiday market with more consumers planning to spend more on their holidays in 2015 than those looking to cut back (20% state they will spend more on holidays and only 15% say they are planning to spend less*). This growth is being led by more affluent holidaymakers with value for money and a desire to maximise holiday experiences dominating the rest of the market.
Affluent consumers are breaking away from the cautious optimism that has dominated the market for the last couple of years. Whilst this group remains relatively small, it looks set to drive some growth in the travel industry in 2015. In 2014, people took an average of 3.0 holidays per person, however those in social class ‘A’ took 4.7 holidays per person. This is a marked increase from 2013 when this group took 3.6 holidays per person and is likely to continue into 2015.
Seeking value for money, holidaymakers are maximising their expenditure and leisure time combining elements such as events, shows or experiences with their holiday as well as taking multi-centre holidays; challenge holidays and activity holidays. The continued growth of the package holiday is also a key part of this.
British holidaymakers have been playing it safe for the last few years with their holiday choices, but many people are planning to explore new destinations in 2015; over a third (35%) think they will take a holiday to a country they have never been to before.
Living like a local is a key trend across all age groups as people are looking for more authentic holiday experiences and many holiday companies are now offering people the chance to enjoy hidden gems alongside traditional tourist attractions.
The destination celebration has become a real player in the travel market with the desire to commemorate, celebrate and share experiences expected to drive an increased number of group holidays in 2015 such as anniversaries, stag and hen trips and overseas weddings.
City breaks overtook beach holidays as the most popular type of holiday in 2014 and are expected to hold the top spot into 2015, with 43% of people planning a city break and 42% planning a beach holiday.
ABTA has also identified its ‘Destinations to watch’ for 2015, a mixture of long and short haul destinations that are expected to capture the public’s imagination in 2015. The destinations are (in alphabetical order):
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “We do expect to see the slow but steady signs of recovery that have been characteristic of 2014 continue into next year. We are seeing strong growth from the most affluent end of the market and we expect this to drive interest in luxury and tailor made packages. The rest of the market remains resilient with value for money continuing to be a priority. Holidaymakers want their holiday to work hard for them, whether that’s by offering new experiences, combining different destinations or simply delivering great value.”
In the report country-specific travel advice has been provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ensure Brits travelling abroad next year remain safe.
Michael Vibert, Head of Consular Communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: “This year’s ABTA report notes that British nationals will be doing more to make the most of their holidays abroad in the next twelve months. With many travellers set to visit unfamiliar destinations and fit in as many activities as possible, it’s more important than ever to plan and prepare fully.
Most people who travel abroad have a trouble-free trip but things can and do go wrong. Simple steps such as checking the FCO travel advice, taking out comprehensive travel insurance, and researching the country and health risks before you go can help to ensure that your holiday is one to remember for all the right reasons.
Not all consular cases are preventable, and for those British nationals who do run into difficulties the FCO will do all it can to help. For example, we can issue replacement travel documents and provide help to those who have been a victim of crime or are in hospital. However, we cannot pay medical bills, lend money or influence another country’s legal system.”
For full details go to www.abta.com/traveltrends2015
* Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2001 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2014. Fieldwork was conducted in July 2014.