05 Oct

Holidays Last To Be Cut Back In Tough Times

“Consumers would rather sacrifice home improvements, eating out and gadgets than their holiday”

Holidays are the last to go when the public are cutting back on spending with consumers choosing to make savings on eating out or home improvements before losing out on their holiday. The 2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey unveiled at The Travel Convention in Palma Mallorca today reveals that four out of 10 consumers said they would be least likely to cut back on holidays when making savings.

Consumers were asked the question: Which of the following would you be most unwilling to cut back on?

  • A holiday – 37%: Men 35%, Women 38%
  • Eating out throughout the year – 20%: Men 19%, Women 21%
  • Leisure activities (cinema, concerts etc) – 17%: Men 17%, Women 17
  • New electronic gadgets – 15%: Men 16%, Women 14%
  • Home improvement – 12%: Men 13%, Women 11%

One in five are so keen on their foreign breaks that they regard a longer trip overseas as a necessity they couldn’t do without , and one in four see a short break in the UK as equally essential. It seems women appreciate the relaxation and opportunity to recharge their batteries on holiday more than men with nearly one in four, 38%, unwilling to forego a trip as opposed to just over a third, 35% of men. The love of holidays clearly grows with age, with 27% of 15-24 year olds unprepared to cut back, climbing to 43% of the over 65s.

The truism about boys with their toys also seems to hold water with 16% of men refusing to give up on a new TV or laptop, as opposed to 14% of women. Men are also, perhaps a little surprisingly, slightly more house proud than women with 13% unwilling to forego a new kitchen or extension with only 11% of women feeling equally as strongly.

Victoria Bacon ABTA Head of Communications said: “Consumers have been telling us for years just how important their holidays are. In tough economic times we all have to think of ways in which we can tighten our belts but it is very reassuring for the industry to hear that holidays are the least popular choice for the chop and for many, something they simply cannot live without. ABTA Members are delighted and privileged to be able to deliver to the public the high quality and good value holidays that they so clearly want and need.”

5 October 2011

Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2018 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2011. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2011.