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Holiday Booking Process - UK - March 2010

This report examines consumer trends, how the recession has impacted the holiday booking process and the future of the holiday market. In addition, it includes a special chapter focusing on consumer responses to ‘optional extras’ on flights, specifically attempting to gauge which are most important to travellers – and which options they would like to see added.

  • Going online is increasingly important to the holiday booking process. Over one-in-two travellers report having booked all elements of their last overseas trip this way.
  • The internet has also become the most important holiday research tool. Two-in-five holidaymakers read reviews online and price-comparison websites are now more popular than specialist publications or holiday sections in newspapers.
  • Use of travel agents is most likely in the North and Scotland. People who live in these regions are twice as likely as the national average to book holidays face-to-face.
  • The long-term trend away from the package trip and towards independent bookings shows no sign of slowing, despite the recession and predictions from some quarters that the pattern would reverse.
  • One-in-two holidaymakers report looking at cheap flight availability on the internet before booking, making it the most popular research method. Four-in-ten decide on their destination before anything else.
  • Mintel’s exclusive consumer research into the ‘optional extras’ available to purchase with flights reveals that while existing choices such as extra legroom, food/drinks on board and movies/games are all popular, airlines may be missing out by not offering guaranteed seating away from children/babies – one-in-seven holidaymakers rank this as a top-three choice.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Too much information
              • Experience and trust
              • Market in Brief

                • Internet increase
                  • ABs, earnings and online
                    • North/South, package/independent
                      • Regulation and UGC
                        • Flight-plus
                        • Internal Market Environment

                          • Key points
                            • Two thirds take holidays
                              • Figure 1: Percentage of adults booking UK and overseas holidays, 2009
                            • DIY rise continues
                              • Figure 2: Percentage of UK and overseas holidaymakers who made their own travel/accomodation arrangements for their last holiday, 2005-09
                            • All internet penetration – slight growth resumes…
                              • Figure 3: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group, age, region and working status, 2005-09
                            • …as broadband take-up increases
                              • Figure 4: Broadband connection at home over time, by gender, age and socio-economic group, 200509
                            • Low-cost air – past, present and future?
                              • Figure 5: Scheduled passengers carried by selected low-cost airlines, 2004-08
                            • ATOL, ABTA, the EU and PTD
                            • Broader Market Environment

                              • Key points
                                • UK struggles into growth
                                  • Figure 6: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at constant 2004 prices, 2004-14
                                • Age and change
                                  • Figure 7: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                  • Figure 8: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                • Socio-economics favour independent arrangements
                                  • Figure 9: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                • Holidays for one
                                  • Figure 10: UK households, by size, 2004-14
                                • Euro no-go
                                  • Figure 11: Sterling exchange rates as at 30 November, 2005-09
                              • Competitive Context

                                • Key points
                                  • Holiday priority steady in 2009
                                    • Figure 12: Discretionary spending, March and November 2009
                                  • Good growth…until 2009
                                    • Figure 13: UK consumer expenditure on leisure travel, retail sales, eating out and pub spend (minus eating) – plus broad retail sector breakdown, 2004-08
                                    • Figure 14: Indexed comparison of expenditure on leisure travel, selected retail sales sectors, eating out & pub spend (minus eating), where 2004 = 100
                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                  • Key points
                                    • Bridging the gap
                                      • Guaranteed good times
                                        • Flights-plus
                                          • Packaging
                                            • Social networking and UGC
                                              • LGBT travel
                                                • Teaming up
                                                  • Other online developments
                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Domestic bounce, overseas drop
                                                        • Figure 15: Domestic and overseas holiday volumes, 2004-14
                                                      • Average expenditure down across the board
                                                        • Figure 16: Domestic and overseas holiday expenditure current value, 2004-14
                                                      • 2010 and beyond
                                                        • Factors used in the forecast
                                                        • Holiday Bookings and Timings

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Internet importance grows
                                                              • Figure 17: How last holiday (domestic or overseas) was booked, 2005-09
                                                            • Ahead of the game
                                                              • Figure 18: When booking for last holiday (domestic or overseas) was made, 2009
                                                          • Companies and Products

                                                              • easyJet
                                                                  • Figure 19: EasyJet plc Financials, 2008-09
                                                                • Expedia UK
                                                                    • Figure 20: Expedia Inc. annual financial results, 2007-08
                                                                    • Figure 21: Expedia Inc. nine months to end September financial results, 2008-09
                                                                  • Flight Centre
                                                                      • Figure 22: Flight Centre Limited – UK financials, 2008-09
                                                                    • Lastminute.com
                                                                      • Monarch
                                                                          • Figure 23: Monarch Holdings, financials, 2007-08
                                                                        • Ryanair
                                                                            • Figure 24: Ryanair, financials, 2008-09
                                                                          • Thomas Cook Group
                                                                              • Figure 25: Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, financials 2007-08
                                                                            • Travelsupermarket.com
                                                                                • Figure 26: Travelsupermarket.com revenue, 2007-08
                                                                              • TripAdvisor
                                                                                  • Figure 27: TripAdvisor UK, financials, 2007-08
                                                                                • TUI Travel
                                                                                    • Figure 28: TUI UK & Ireland, net profit, 2007-08
                                                                                • Brand Elements

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Brand map
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Attitudes towards and usage of holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                      • Brand qualities of holiday booking brands
                                                                                        • BA above the rest, but Virgin not far below
                                                                                          • Figure 30: Personalities of various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                        • Experience of holiday booking brands
                                                                                          • Online brands on the up
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Consumer usage of various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                          • Brand consideration for holiday booking brands
                                                                                            • Travel agents most likely to be shunned
                                                                                              • Figure 32: Consideration of various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                            • Brand satisfaction for holiday booking brands
                                                                                              • Travel agents still most satisfying
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Satisfaction with various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                              • Brand commitment to holiday booking brands
                                                                                                • Thomas Cook has highest loyalty, but Expedia lapsing less
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Commitment to various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                                • Brand intentions for holiday booking brands
                                                                                                  • Online brands edge forward
                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Future usage intentions for various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                                  • Brand recommendation for holiday booking brands
                                                                                                    • Thomas Cook still most recommended
                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Recommendation of various holiday booking brands, January 2010
                                                                                                    • First Choice
                                                                                                      • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Attitudes towards the First Choice brand, January 2010
                                                                                                      • Travelsupermarket.com
                                                                                                        • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attitudes towards the travelsupermarket.com brand, January 2010
                                                                                                        • Lastminute.com
                                                                                                          • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Attitudes towards the lastminute.com brand, January 2010
                                                                                                          • Lonely Planet
                                                                                                            • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Attitudes towards the Lonely Planet brand, January 2010
                                                                                                            • Thomas Cook
                                                                                                              • What the consumer thinks
                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Attitudes towards the Thomas Cook brand, January 2010
                                                                                                            • Holiday Information

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Information superhighway
                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Sources of information used for last holiday, 2005-09
                                                                                                                • Friends, reviews and UGC
                                                                                                                • Overseas Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Type of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                  • Europe reigns, but richest relish further-flung locations
                                                                                                                    • Independent vs package
                                                                                                                    • Holiday Research

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Holiday research methods, December 2009
                                                                                                                      • Rise of the online researchers
                                                                                                                        • Price push
                                                                                                                          • Research for last overseas holiday
                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Holiday research methods by selected types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                        • Holiday Booking Patterns

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: How last holiday abroad booked, December 2009
                                                                                                                          • Computer-using capital dwellers
                                                                                                                            • Travel agents find favour further North
                                                                                                                              • Online, overseas, agents and aid
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: How last holiday abroad booked by selected types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                              • Booking and research
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: How last holiday abroad booked by most popular holiday research methods, December 2009
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: How last holiday abroad booked by next most popular holiday research methods, December 2009
                                                                                                                            • Holiday Flight Extras

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Extras extra important
                                                                                                                                  • What would you choose?
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Most important extras in flights, December 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Leg room top choice
                                                                                                                                    • Under four hour flights
                                                                                                                                      • Over four hour flights
                                                                                                                                      • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Holiday booking process target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Onliners
                                                                                                                                          • T.A.s
                                                                                                                                            • Mixers
                                                                                                                                              • Directors
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Holiday Bookings and Timings

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: How last holiday abroad was booked, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: When booking for last holiday abroad was made, 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: How last holiday in the UK was booked, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: When booking for last holiday in the UK was made, 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Overseas Holidays Taken

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Most popular type of last holiday taken abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Next most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Less popular types of last holiday taken abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Other types of last holiday taken abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Least popular types of last holiday taken abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Holiday Research

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Holiday research methods, by most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Holiday research methods, by next most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Holiday research methods, by less popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Holiday research methods, by other types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Holiday research methods, by least popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Most popular holiday research methods, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Next most popular holiday research methods, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Least popular holiday research methods, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Holiday Booking Patterns

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: How last holiday abroad booked, by most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: How last holiday abroad booked, by next most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: How last holiday abroad booked, by further types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: How last holiday abroad booked, by other types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: How last holiday abroad booked, by least popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Most popular methods of booking last holiday abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Next most popular methods of booking last holiday abroad, by demographics, December 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Consumer Focus Special – Flight Extras

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Most important extras in flights, by most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Most important extras in flights, by next most popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Most important extras in flights, by other types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Most important extras in flights by further types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Most important extras in flights, by least popular types of last holiday taken abroad, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Most popular extras in flights by demographics – flight length under four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Next most popular extras in flights, by demographics – Flight length under four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Other extras in flights, by demographics – Flight length under four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Most popular extras in flights, by demographics – Flight length over four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Next most popular extras in flights, by demographics – Flight length over four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Other extras in flights, by demographics – Flight length over four hours, December 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Last holiday taken abroad, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Activities before booking last holiday abroad, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Most important extras in flight, by target groups, December 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Target groups, by demographics, December 2009

                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                              • Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL)
                                                                                                                                              • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Association of British Travel Agents (The)
                                                                                                                                              • Automobile Association (AA)
                                                                                                                                              • British Airways Plc
                                                                                                                                              • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                              • Carbon Trust
                                                                                                                                              • Civil Aviation Authority
                                                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                              • easyJet Airline Company Limited
                                                                                                                                              • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
                                                                                                                                              • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Flight Centre (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • FriendsReunited
                                                                                                                                              • InterContinental Hotels Group PLC
                                                                                                                                              • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                              • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                              • Med Hotels
                                                                                                                                              • Monarch Airlines
                                                                                                                                              • MyTravel Group plc
                                                                                                                                              • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                              • Office of Fair Trading
                                                                                                                                              • Ryanair Holdings plc
                                                                                                                                              • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                              • Thomson Holidays
                                                                                                                                              • TripAdvisor LLC
                                                                                                                                              • TUI UK
                                                                                                                                              • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                              • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                              • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                              • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                              • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                              Holiday Booking Process - UK - March 2010

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