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Coach Holidays - UK - June 2011

"Coach holidays currently face a difficult trading environment as the 2009 ‘staycation’ boost fades and a return to the pre-recession level of overseas breaks remains unlikely. The UK’s ageing population may present opportunities, given operators’ experience in catering to this group, however, as with the wider travel market much depends on the pace of economic recovery and subsequent improvements to consumer spending intentions."

Tom Rees, Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst

A coach holiday is defined as any holiday (eg at least one night spent away from home) that involves coach transport. There are two basic types:

Coach tours: inclusive of accommodation and sold as a ‘package’ (or ‘inclusive tour’); these can be multi-centred or single-centred and usually involve excursions.

Coach transport to and from a holiday destination – thus not including accommodation – using either scheduled services or chartered coaches.

The market size section of this report also includes data on domestic holidays where regular buses/coaches are used on the longest part of the journey. An adult, for the purposes of Mintel’s research, is anyone aged 16 or over. The standard travel and tourism definitions used in the terminology of this report are as follows:

  • Tourism is any travel which involves an overnight stay away from home.
  • A holiday is a subjectively defined form of tourism, as defined by the tourist in response to surveys such as the IPS. A holiday can be distinguished from other leisure travel such as visits to friends and relatives (VFR) or shopping trips.
  • A long holiday is a holiday of four nights or more away from home; a short break is a holiday that involves one to three nights away from home.
  • Short-haul refers to air holidays within Europe, dominated by flights to Mediterranean resorts but including the Canary Islands, which are treated as a part of the Spanish market. Long-haul, therefore, refers to holidays outside Europe.
  • An inclusive tour, or package holiday, is defined as the simultaneous sale of at least two elements of a holiday to the traveller: fares on public transport (eg flights) and commercial accommodation (eg hotel or self-catering apartment). Other elements, such as meals or excursions, are not essential to the definition of an inclusive tour. The term ‘all-inclusive’ is used to describe a special type of resort holiday in which food, drink, excursions and other services are provided as part of the total holiday cost.
  • An independent holiday is one in which the traveller organises and books transport and accommodation from separate sources (eg a Channel ferry crossing and a caravan site in France).
  • Seat- or flight-only is a type of independent holiday, and the terms are used to denote holidays in which travellers only purchase a return fare and thereafter book their own accommodation, car hire etc.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Coach/bus holidays* market volume and forecast, 2006-16
              • Figure 2: Coach/bus holidays* market value and forecast, 2006-16
            • Recessionary impact
              • Post-recession period
                • Domestic takes lion’s share of volume, but overseas market worth more
                  • Figure 3: Number of coach holidays, by segment, 2006-11
                  • Figure 4: Value of coach holidays, by segment, 2006-11
                • Market factors
                  • Air travel loses share
                    • Europe increasing coach passenger rights
                      • UK population ages
                        • Figure 5: Forecast percentage growth in over-65s, by age, by gender, 2010-15
                      • Companies, brands and innovation
                        • Shearings Holidays
                          • Just Go! Holidays
                            • Eurolines
                              • Titan HiTours
                                • The Travel Corporation
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Figure 6: Coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                  • Most popular with older adults
                                    • Gender gap
                                      • Top negative opinion more common than top positive
                                        • Figure 7: Top three negative and top three positive attitudes towards coach holidays, April 2011
                                      • Positives: value, socialising, view and viewing
                                        • Negatives: time and space, boredom, illness and age
                                          • Women and older adults most positive
                                            • Potentials’ positives
                                              • What we think
                                              • Issues in the Market

                                                • How can coach holiday companies benefit from the UK’s ageing population?
                                                  • Will the likely increase in interest rates prove a boost for coach holiday providers?
                                                    • Can operators turn rising fuel costs to their advantage?
                                                      • How important are online facilities – and how important will they be in future?
                                                        • How can operators engage more effectively with more affluent travellers?
                                                        • Future Opportunities

                                                            • Trend: Slow It All Down
                                                              • Trend: No Resting Place
                                                              • Internal Market Environment

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Hit to holidays continues
                                                                    • Figure 8: Total number of holidays and expenditure, 2005-10
                                                                    • Figure 9: Visits and spending by UK residents on domestic holiday trips, 2005-10
                                                                    • Figure 10: Visits and spending by UK residents on overseas holiday trips, 2005-10
                                                                  • Europe tops UK’s choice
                                                                    • Figure 11: Outbound holiday visits, by region visited, 2005-10
                                                                  • Air loses altitude
                                                                    • Figure 12: Total overseas holiday trips, by mode of transport, 2005-10
                                                                  • Costs crunch
                                                                    • Figure 13: Crude oil prices, 2005-11
                                                                    • Figure 14: Average annual unleaded petrol and diesel prices, 2005-11
                                                                    • Figure 15: Annual change in bus and coach industry costs, 2005-10
                                                                  • Rights rise
                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Faltering recovery as consumer confidence shrinks
                                                                        • Figure 16: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2004-Q1 2011
                                                                        • Figure 17: UK consumer confidence index, January 2008-May 2011
                                                                      • Low interest rate implications
                                                                        • Figure 18: UK interest rates, May 2008-May 2011
                                                                      • Ageing OK
                                                                        • Figure 19: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                                                        • Figure 20: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2005-15
                                                                      • Oldest offline
                                                                        • Figure 21: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2004-10
                                                                      • Pound fails to capitalise
                                                                        • Figure 22: Annual average exchange rates for Sterling, 2007-11
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Tours and transport take fifth
                                                                          • Figure 23: Holiday/short break type taken, 2010
                                                                          • Figure 24: Main method of travel used on holiday/short breaks, 2010
                                                                        • A green choice
                                                                          • Figure 25: Carbon emissions, by mode of passenger transport, 2008
                                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                                          • Strengths
                                                                            • Price positives
                                                                              • Ageing population
                                                                                • Pool of potentials
                                                                                  • Passenger rights rise
                                                                                    • Environmental advantage
                                                                                      • Weaknesses
                                                                                        • Interest rates, inflation and income
                                                                                          • No growth in number of 55-64-year-olds
                                                                                            • Fuel price pressures
                                                                                              • Holidays struggling
                                                                                                • Inflexibility issue
                                                                                                • Who's Innovating?

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Find a holiday
                                                                                                      • Art and aristocracy
                                                                                                        • Cruising along
                                                                                                          • Select and TV
                                                                                                            • Bedrooms onboard
                                                                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Varied recessionary impact
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: The coach/bus holiday market*, 2006-16
                                                                                                                • Bus/coach travel holidays benefit
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Domestic coach/bus holidays*, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Domestic coach tours, 2006-11
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Domestic holidays where regular bus/coach used on longest part of journey, 2006-11
                                                                                                                • Overseas market flattens
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Overseas coach holidays, 2006-16
                                                                                                                • Forecasts
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Coach/bus holidays* market volume and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Coach/bus holidays* market value and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Domestic coach/bus holidays* volume and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Domestic coach/bus holidays* value and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Overseas coach holidays volume and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Overseas coach holidays value and forecast, 2006-16
                                                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Scottish sights
                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Regional destinations of UK tourists on city breaks – all vs coach tour takers, 2010
                                                                                                                    • European favourites
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Overseas countries visited – all vs coach tour takers, 2010
                                                                                                                    • Longer lead-in for UK takers
                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Advance holiday/short break booking times – all vs coach tour takers, 2010
                                                                                                                    • Time away
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Total time away from home on holiday in the last 12 months – all vs coach tour takers, 2010
                                                                                                                    • Not so family-focused
                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Who holidaymakers went with – all vs coach tour takers, 2010
                                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                                      • Cosmos Tours & Cruises/Archers Direct
                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Key financials for Cosmos Holidays plc, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                        • Eurolines
                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Key financials for Eurolines (UK) Limited, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                          • Gold Crest Holidays
                                                                                                                            • Grand UK Holidays
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Key financials for The UK Holiday Group Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                              • Just Go! Holidays
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Key financials for The Coach Holiday Warehouse Limited, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                                • Page & Moy
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Key financials for Page & Moy Travel Group Surface Holidays Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Key financials for Page & Moy Travel Group Air Holidays Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Shearings Holidays
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Key financials for Shearings Holidays Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Key financials for Shearings Group Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Titan HiTours
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Key financials for Acromas Holidays Limited, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                                      • The Travel Corporation
                                                                                                                                        • Travelsphere
                                                                                                                                        • Channels to Market

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Internet takes a back seat for research
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Sources of information used by holidaymakers, 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Travel agents top overseas tours
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Booking channels used by holidaymakers, 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Method used to book holidays/short breaks, 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Coach Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • UK coach holidays most common
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                                                                                                                              • What women want
                                                                                                                                                • Most popular with older adults
                                                                                                                                                  • Cost and coach
                                                                                                                                                  • What Puts People off Coach Holidays?

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Travel times are the big turn-off
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Off-putting factors of coach holidays, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Men more negative
                                                                                                                                                        • Ageing means positivity
                                                                                                                                                          • Not the choice for those with children
                                                                                                                                                            • Space/legroom issue not assuaged by experience
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Off-putting factors of coach holidays, by coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Coach Holidays – Positive Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Social and cost-effective
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Attitudes towards coach holidays, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Broadening appeal
                                                                                                                                                                • Leave the car keys
                                                                                                                                                                  • Experience and potential
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attitudes towards coach holidays, by coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Coach holiday target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Onboard
                                                                                                                                                                    • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                        • Watching Costs
                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                              • Off The Coach
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Not Interested
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Coach/bus holidays* market volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Coach/bus holidays* market value and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Domestic coach/bus holidays* volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Domestic coach/bus holidays* value and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Overseas coach holidays volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Overseas coach holidays value and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Coach Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Coach holidays taken, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Non-coach holidaymakers, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – What Puts People off Coach Holidays?

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Off-putting factors of coach holidays, by type of coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Most off-putting factors of coach holidays, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Next most off-putting factors of coach holidays, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Coach Holidays – Positive Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Attitudes towards coach holidays, by coach holidays taken, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Attitudes towards coach holidays, by most off-putting factors, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Attitudes towards coach holidays, by next most off-putting factors, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Most popular attitudes towards coach holidays, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Next most popular attitudes towards coach holidays, by demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Attitudes towards coach holidays, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Off-putting factors of coach holidays, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Coach holidays taken, by target groups April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Target groups, by demographics, April 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Acromas Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Association of British Travel Agents (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Contiki
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cosmos Group (Globus group of companies)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Glenton Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Monarch Travel Group
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Express Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                        • P&O Ferries
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Page & Moy Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Passenger Shipping Association [PSA]
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Post Office Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                        • PricewaterhouseCoopers
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Saga Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Shearings Holidays Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The UK Holiday Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Titan Travel
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Trafalgar Tours
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Travelsphere Group

                                                                                                                                                                                        Coach Holidays - UK - June 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                        £1,750.00 (Excl.Tax)