13 Oct

Early indications are positive for 2016 holiday bookings

Forward bookings up and almost a quarter say they will spend more next year 

According to new ABTA research* almost a quarter (23%) of the population is expecting to spend more on their holidays in 2016, up slightly from 20% who said the same this time last year. Industry figures¹ also point to many consumers feeling positive about holidays next year, early indications show the number of overseas holidays booked to date up 12% year-on-year and bookings for 2015 winter holidays up 5%.

 Winners and losers in 2015 and 2016

ABTA Members have reported good numbers for Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta both for the summer of 2015 and for forward bookings for next year. Spain and its islands have performed particularly well in summer 2015, boosted by extra capacity being put on by tour operators. Further afield, ABTA Members have reported that bookings to Cuba, Cape Verde, Kenya and Thailand have been very healthy for 2015 and are looking positive for 2016. Demand for Jamaica, Barbados and the UAE is also strong for this winter and next year.

 Despite high profile coverage of its economic problems during the peak holiday season and the migration crisis, bookings to Greece remain healthy and the numbers for summer 2015 are up from last year according to statistics2.

 Turkey and Egypt were the main destinations that saw a drop in business in 20153. This may partly have been due to the public reaction to the terrorist attack in Tunisia at the end of June. In addition, bookings in non-Eurozone Mediterranean countries often suffer when the pound is strong against the Euro, with many customers choosing to holiday in the Eurozone instead.

 Holidaymakers making more adventurous destination choices

The incidents and uncertainties of the summer do not appear to have deterred resilient Brits from exploring new destinations. In recent years, people have put their faith in tried and tested destinations but next year may see holidaymakers in a more exploratory mood. According to ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2015, almost one in five people (18%) say they will travel to a country they have never been to before, compared to 9% who said this last year. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23%) say they will try a new resort or city (even if they have visited the country before) compared to 10% who said this last year.

 Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive commented: “Due to the global nature of the travel industry it is particularly exposed to world events, either natural or man-made. This summer saw some very difficult conditions with the appalling terrorist attack in Tunisia and the economic and political issues around the Mediterranean. It is a reflection of the resilient nature of the British holidaymaker that these events don’t appear to have discouraged people from taking overseas holidays with consumer confidence continuing to return to the market as we look ahead to 2016.”

 13 October 2015

 * 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 2003 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2015. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2015.

 1,2& 3 Source: GfK monthly reports for bookings up to August 2015. Gfk is one of the world’s leading market research companies, with more than 13,000 experts across 100 countries working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop.

 Gfk’s Leisure Travel Monitor is a uniquely created market intelligence service for the total UK outbound holiday market. Designed by GfK, the service is the only one of its kind and provides the most comprehensive and accurate picture of forward bookings for the UK outbound holiday market.