22 Sep

The city break is king in 2014

New research* from ABTA reveals that city breaks have overtaken beach holidays as the most popular type of holiday taken by consumers in the last year, with 42% of the population having taken a city break in the 12 months to July 2014, either in the UK or overseas.

The research, part of ABTA’s Consumer Holiday Trends Report 2014, shows city breaks were closely followed by beach holidays with 38% of consumers having taken a beach holiday. In 2013, both types of holiday were neck and neck with 41% of consumers having taken a beach holiday and the same number having taken a city break.

The increase in popularity of city breaks is also supported by other data from the ABTA research which reveals a rise in the number of Brits taking a holiday overseas of one to three nights.

Table 1.1 - Top ten types of holiday taken in 12 months to July 2014

Ranking Holiday type  
1 A city break 42%
2 A beach holiday 38%
3 An all-inclusive holiday 16%
4 Lakes and mountains 10%
5 Trip to a music event 8%
6 A cruise 7%
7 An activity or sporting holiday 6%
8 A coach holiday 6%
9 A train holiday 5%
10 A trip to a major sporting event 4%











The biggest fans of city and beach breaks

25-34 year olds were the biggest fans of city breaks with half (50%) taking a city break in the 12 months to July 2014, closely followed by 35-44 year olds (45%).  Beach holidays are popular across all age groups but particularly amongst younger holidaymakers with nearly half of 16-24 year olds (45%) taking a beach holiday in the 12 months to July 2014. City breaks are also particularly popular with male travellers, with 45% taking one in the last 12 months compared to 39% of women.

Stag and hen trips

There is a more pronounced gender split in numbers going away for stag and hen holidays. Men are over twice as likely as women to head overseas for their pre-wedding party. 3% of men headed overseas for a stag party in the 12 months to July 2014 while just 1% of women did the same for a hen do suggesting that men are willing to invest more in their or their friends’ stag parties than women are.  Overseas stag and hen trips are most popular amongst 25-34 year olds, with 7% of men and 2% of women in this age group having partied overseas, popular destinations for stags include Prague, Riga, Barcelona and Dublin.

Top Choices for 2015

Looking ahead to 2015, city breaks and beach holidays are set to go head-to-head as top choices, all-inclusives also look to cement a strong position, with one in five (20%) saying they may take an all-inclusive holiday in 2015.

Table 1.2 - Top ten types of holiday consumers are considering taking in 2015

Ranking Holiday type  
1 A city break 43%
2 A beach break 42%
3 An all-inclusive holiday 20%
4 Lakes and mountains 12%
5 A cruise 10%
6 A coach holiday 8%
7 A trip to a music event 7%
8 A train holiday 6%
9 An activity or sporting holiday 6%
10 Well being 5%











Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Over the coming year, millions of people are set to enjoy trips abroad, as more traditional holidaymakers but also as outdoors enthusiasts, music lovers, sports spectators and as part of a wedding party.

"ABTA holiday companies cater to any holiday aspiration and whilst 2015 looks to be dominated by the classic options of a city or beach break, significant numbers of people will be inspired by other holiday choices.”

*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.