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Activity Holidays - UK - February 2010

This report provides an overview of trends in activity holidays, investigating the core market factors, strengths and weaknesses, consumer dynamics, and likely future developments.

  • The recession put a stop to five years of growth in activity holidays, with an estimated 16% fall in activity breaks during 2009.
  • There are signs that activity holidays are no longer just the preserve of young adrenaline junkies, but are becoming more ‘mainstream’, attracting more women, more over-50s and more families.
  • For many Britons, fly and flop is hardwired into their travel DNA: almost half of consumers would “prefer to go on a relaxing holiday” than an activity holiday: the idea of exertion on holiday is simply anathema.
  • Walking/trekking is the most popular form of activity holiday, accounting for almost four in ten activity trips. A quarter of the adult population have been on a walking holiday at some point in their lives.
  • Comfortably-off pre-family group are the most likely to have been on an activity holiday, followed by third agers. The family market has been hardest hit by the recession but shows strongest potential for new customers.
  • Escaping the pressures of everyday life, an opportunity to make new friends and self-improvement are three of the most popular reasons for going on an activity holiday.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Avatar holiday
              • Bonding through the exercise experience
                • Empty nester travel workshop
                • Market in Brief

                  • Upward activity curve flattens
                    • Star trekkers
                      • Female participation increasing
                        • Under pressure
                          • Thousand things to see before you die
                            • Sporting participation grows
                              • AB/singles growth to boost activity
                                • Mainstream and super-niche
                                • Internal Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • Overseas slump benefits domestic market
                                      • Figure 1: Domestic and overseas holidays and expenditure, 2004-14
                                    • Package holidays plummet
                                      • Figure 2: Inclusive holidays versus independent holidays, by volume, 2004-09
                                    • But activity packages are more immune
                                      • Supplementary breaks fall
                                        • Figure 3: Percentage of adults booking UK and overseas holidays, 2009
                                      • Keeping fit?
                                        • Figure 4: Healthy lifestyle attitudes, December 2009
                                      • Or getting fat?
                                        • Different results
                                          • Sports participation
                                              • Figure 5: Participation in selected sports/activities, 2005-09
                                            • Cycling surge
                                              • In the club
                                              • Broader Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                    • Figure 6: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2004 prices, 2004-14
                                                  • Confidence picks up
                                                    • Figure 7: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index: February 2009-January 2010
                                                    • Figure 8: Trends in the impact of the economic downturn on consumers, January 2009-December 2009
                                                    • Figure 9: Trends in consumer sentiment for the coming year, January 2009-December 2009
                                                  • Leading concerns
                                                    • Figure 10: Trends in personal concerns, June 09-Dec 09
                                                  • AB growth double national average
                                                    • Figure 11: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                  • Ageing opportunities
                                                    • Figure 12: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                                  • Solo activity
                                                    • Figure 13: Holidays taken, by who holidaymakers went with on last holiday, 2009
                                                    • Figure 14: Holiday type taken for last holiday, by who holidaymakers went with, 2009
                                                  • Single person household increase
                                                    • Figure 15: UK households, by size, 2004-14
                                                  • Viral market
                                                    • Figure 16: Broadband internet connection at home over time, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 2004-09
                                                  • Sterling stays in doldrums
                                                    • Figure 17: Sterling exchange rates against selected currencies at 26th January each year, 2006-10
                                                  • But eurozone holiday costs come down
                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Growing activity share
                                                        • Figure 18: Number of activity holidays taken as a proportion of overall holidays, 2004-09
                                                    • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                        • Strengths
                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Remote adventures
                                                                • Icon-ticking
                                                                  • Value destinations and back to basics
                                                                    • Going independent
                                                                      • Extreme ironing
                                                                        • Walk on the wild side
                                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Figure 19: Activity holidays volume, 2004-14
                                                                          • Past and present
                                                                            • Future
                                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Figure 20: Estimated volume of activity holidays, by type of activity, 2009
                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Overall
                                                                                  • Adventure travel
                                                                                    • Snowsports
                                                                                      • Boating
                                                                                        • Cycling holidays
                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • TUI Travel plc
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Key TUI Travel activity holiday brands operating in the UK market, February 2010
                                                                                              • TUI Adventure
                                                                                                • TUI Marine
                                                                                                  • Le Boat
                                                                                                    • Sunsail/The Moorings/Club Vass
                                                                                                      • Thomas Cook Group plc/Neilson
                                                                                                        • Explore
                                                                                                          • PGL
                                                                                                            • Gap Adventures
                                                                                                              • Saddle Skedaddle
                                                                                                                • Inntravel
                                                                                                                  • Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
                                                                                                                  • Distribution

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Direct sell accounts for most sales
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: How last holiday abroad was booked, 2005-09
                                                                                                                    • Holiday Choices

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Recession impacts on short breaks
                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009
                                                                                                                        • Third age peak abroad
                                                                                                                          • Strong AB independent bias
                                                                                                                            • Broad domestic base over the age of 35
                                                                                                                            • Activity Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Activity penetration reaches plateau
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Types of activity break taken, December 2009
                                                                                                                                • Demographics of activity holidays
                                                                                                                                  • The potentials
                                                                                                                                    • Demographics of specific holiday types
                                                                                                                                      • Walking customers
                                                                                                                                        • Who are the skiers?
                                                                                                                                          • Watersports customers
                                                                                                                                            • Bikes, sports, mountaineering and horses
                                                                                                                                              • Independent walkers/cyclists and sporting short breakers
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Towards Activity Holidays

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Attitudes towards activity holidays, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Half of adults ‘prefer R&R to activity’
                                                                                                                                                    • Walkers most concerned about relaxation
                                                                                                                                                      • First-timers likely to start in the UK
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes by demographics
                                                                                                                                                          • Safety valve
                                                                                                                                                            • Sociable types
                                                                                                                                                            • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Hyperactive
                                                                                                                                                                  • Cautiously active
                                                                                                                                                                    • Active bonding
                                                                                                                                                                      • Indifferent
                                                                                                                                                                        • Inactive
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Holiday Choices

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Next most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Next most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Other types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Least popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Activity Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Most popular types of activity break taken, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Next most popular types of activity break taken, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Other types of activity break taken, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Activity Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes towards activity holidays, by most popular types of activity break taken, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes towards activity holidays, by next most popular types of activity break taken, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Attitudes towards activity holidays, by other types of activity break taken, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Most popular attitudes towards activity holidays, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Next most popular attitudes towards activity holidays, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Other attitudes towards activity holidays, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes towards activity holidays, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Types of activity break taken, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Target groups, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Types of activity break taken, by most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Types of activity break taken, by next most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Types of activity break taken, by next most popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Types of activity break taken, by other types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Types of activity break taken, by least popular types of holiday taken in the last 12 months, December 2009

                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                        • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Butlins Skyline Limited
                                                                                                                                                                        • Center Parcs
                                                                                                                                                                        • Civil Aviation Authority
                                                                                                                                                                        • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                        • Comic Relief UK
                                                                                                                                                                        • Crown Blue Line
                                                                                                                                                                        • Crystal Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Discovery Channel
                                                                                                                                                                        • Discovery Communications, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Eurocamp
                                                                                                                                                                        • Eurostar UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Exodus Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Explore Worldwide Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Flexiski
                                                                                                                                                                        • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
                                                                                                                                                                        • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                                        • Gecko's Adventures
                                                                                                                                                                        • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                                                                        • Glastonbury Festivals Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Great Adventure People
                                                                                                                                                                        • Gullivers Travel Associates
                                                                                                                                                                        • Headwater Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Holidaybreak plc
                                                                                                                                                                        • Hoseasons Holidays Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Inghams Travel
                                                                                                                                                                        • Inntravel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                        • Keycamp
                                                                                                                                                                        • Mark Warner Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                        • MyTravel Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                        • National Geographic Society
                                                                                                                                                                        • Neilson Active Holidays Limited
                                                                                                                                                                        • Nintendo UK Entertainment Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • NST Travel Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                        • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises
                                                                                                                                                                        • Peregrine Adventures
                                                                                                                                                                        • PGL Adventure Holidays Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Post Office Limited
                                                                                                                                                                        • Ramblers Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Red Bull UK
                                                                                                                                                                        • Royal Horticultural Society
                                                                                                                                                                        • Royal Yachting Association (RYA)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Saddle Skedaddle (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Ski Club of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sport England
                                                                                                                                                                        • STA Travel
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sunsail
                                                                                                                                                                        • Superbreak Mini Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Adventure Company
                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomson Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Trek America
                                                                                                                                                                        • TUI Travel PLC
                                                                                                                                                                        • TUI UK
                                                                                                                                                                        • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • USA Today
                                                                                                                                                                        • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                        • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                        • XL Leisure

                                                                                                                                                                        Activity Holidays - UK - February 2010

                                                                                                                                                                        US $2,570.96 (Excl.Tax)