The ABTA Holiday Value Report, out today, has found that holidays will play a vital role in lifting the British economy, as well as British spirits, in 2009.
The study shows that in spite of financial worries, summer holidays are three times more prized than pay rises, and that by booking and going on holiday this year we can collectively help lift the economy, as well as the spirits.
“Having something to look forward to like a holiday often helps us focus more on current tasks,” said Psychotherapist and Life Coach Christine Webber, who developed the study.
“Booking a holiday gives us an emotional lift that we’ve called ‘Sunticipation’. It’s a feeling that lasts from the moment a holiday is booked to the first ray of sun on your face. Crucially, ‘Sunticipation’ will help us all put up with the woes of winter and enable us to work harder at our jobs because we have the promise of sunshine and relaxation to come.”
“Holidays are not just about the two weeks away. The feel-good impact is felt from the moment you start to pick a destination and, in these troubled times, the whole process offers welcome relief from the gloom,” continued Christine Webber.
“The nation is suffering from collective stress at the moment – January is a particularly depressing month at the best of times - and holidays are one way of keeping the UK on an even keel. Everyone has to think long and hard about what they spend but holidays are still firmly in the family budget.”
After a surge of early deals in the last couple of weeks from many of its members, ABTA is reporting positive levels of holiday bookings and footfall for the first half of January. Egypt, Turkey and long-haul destinations such as Orlando, as well as cruises, are selling well.
Their research shows that, despite the economic gloom, 68 per cent of the public are prepared to up their budget or spend the same as last year to ensure they have something to look forward to. Only nine per cent of people intend to leave their bookings to the last minute.
“Holidays are important to people in different ways but the research is clear that holidays are a vital part of people's year and still will be this year despite the economic downturn,” said Casia Zajac, Head of Communications for ABTA.
“Planning and anticipating a holiday can sustain people through the winter months and the bleak financial times that are upon us.
“With the holiday being so crucial, it is important that they plan well and use reputable agents so they are not disappointed. The best way to ensure your holiday happens without a glitch and you receive the highest level of service is to book with a travel company that is an ABTA member. For more travel advice, go to www.abta.com”
Other findings in the ABTA Holiday Value Report include:
All statistics taken from a OnePoll survey of 2447 adults commissioned between December 24th 2008 and January 5th 2009.