Budget Holidays - UK - March 2011
There were an estimated 11.2 million budget holidays taken overseas in 2010, making up approximately three in ten trips abroad by UK holidaymakers. However this segment of the market has by no means proved recession-proof – at its peak in 2008 12.5 million such holidays were taken.
What has occurred instead is a greater fall in the total number of overseas holidays than budget trips in both 2009 and 2010 – and in fact the latter are estimated to have declined only 0.9% since 2009 (against a fall in foreign holidays of 6%). As a result, budget holidays’ share of the market has increased, even as the number of such trips taken has fallen.
This report considers whether budget holiday abroad will increase in future, and if they will continue to increase in importance as a segment of the overall market. It looks at consumer attitudes towards budget trips and how these differ between people who have taken such holidays and those who haven’t. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of such trips, the key players and innovations in the industry.
- In 2010, there were an estimated 11.2 million overseas budget holidays, a fall of 0.9% year on year. This came in the context of a 6% drop in the number of trips abroad – as a result, budget holidays’ share of the market has increased, even as the number of such breaks taken has fallen. Mintel estimates that approximately three in ten overseas holidays were budget trips in 2010.
- The segment has by no means been recession-proof. The number of budget trips abroad fell 9.6% in 2009. This was the year in which holidaymaking was hit hardest - the number of overseas holidays dropping by over 15% year on year.
- European destinations dominate the most popular choices for budget holidays overseas, with Spain, France, Greece, Germany, Italy and Portugal all in the top seven. The only non-eurozone country to rank highly is Turkey (third most popular with budget holidaymakers).
- Despite packages’ long-standing associations with the ‘cheap and cheerful’ and ‘fly and flop’ model of holidaymaking, budget holidays are now more likely to be independent bookings (those in which consumers have arranged and booked the components of the trip themselves). Approximately one in seven people took an independent budget break in the two years to November 2010; one in fourteen took a package.
- With an average expenditure of £212 in 2010, domestic breaks are the key competition for budget overseas holidays. While the number of all overseas trips and budget breaks dropped in 2009, UK holidays taken by UK residents rose almost 17% that year.
- Amongst people who’ve been on budget holidays, more than four in ten people say they’ve had great holidays for a budget amount. Across all adults, the most popular attitude towards budget holidays is negative – almost one in three people say they prefer to save up and take more expensive holidays.
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