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Holidays to France - UK - February 2016

“Proximity, convenience and transport choices remain huge natural advantages but well-travelled Brits need to be reminded that France can offer an unusual and highly idiosyncratic destination – an experience of ‘foreignness’ – right on Britain’s doorstep, without having to go very far.”

John Worthington, Senior Analyst

This report covers the following areas:

  • France can benefit from incorporating more package-style independents
  • Engaging younger generations is key as these are the visitors of the future
  • The 'slow holiday destination' is a core theme for differentiating France from its competitors

Holidays to France grew only slightly in 2015 while many other overseas destinations saw robust recovery as UK economic growth and a strong Pound kick-started a real recovery, led by more affluent households, after several years of tightened purse strings. Trips across the Channel have slumped by over a fifth since 2008. France remains the UK’s second favourite destination abroad by some margin but has slipped further behind Spain and is losing market share as rival European destinations lure customers with falling resort costs and new generations of travellers look to more exotic destinations further afield. The tragic Paris attacks of November 2015 are also likely to dampen demand in the short term.

Nevertheless France retains unique characteristics which can clearly differentiate it from competitor destinations and, in the long term, it is best served by focusing its appeal on specific target groups, developing clear brand messages and raising awareness of its diverse tourism offering, rather than chasing levels of volume for their own sake.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • France yet to capitalise on overseas holiday recovery
            • Figure 1: Forecast of holidays to France, by volume, 2010-20
            • Figure 2: Forecast of holidays to France, by value, 2010-20
          • Safety concerns may impact families most
            • Problems over value perception
              • Window of opportunity
                • Sporting chance
                  • Eurostar opens up new markets in South
                    • Major new park development
                      • Core consumer groups
                        • Figure 3: Past experience and future intentions of holidaying in France, November 2015
                      • Convenience and culture seen as biggest strengths
                        • Figure 4: How France compares to other European holiday destinations visited, November 2015
                      • Targeting the aviation avoiders
                        • Figure 5: Attitudes towards France as a holiday destination, November 2015
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • France can benefit from incorporating more package-style independents
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Engaging younger generations is key as these are the visitors of the future
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • The ‘slow holiday destination’ is a core theme for differentiating France from its competitors
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Holidays to France yet to show signs of revival
                                            • Impact of Paris attacks and Calais crisis
                                              • Football and rail opportunities
                                                • Boomer challenge
                                                  • France becoming more relatively expensive…
                                                    • …but capacity shift could benefit France
                                                      • Self-drive holidays also offer good value
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • France losing UK market share
                                                          • Figure 6: Holidays to France market, by volume and value, 2010-20
                                                        • Forecast
                                                          • Figure 7: Forecast of holidays to France, by volume, 2010-20
                                                          • Figure 8: Forecast of holidays to France, by value, 2010-20
                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                        • France may need to add package-style elements
                                                            • Figure 9: Volume of holidays to France, independently booked versus package trips, 2009-14
                                                          • Tunnel share rising
                                                            • Figure 10: Volume of holidays to France, by mode of travel, 2009-14
                                                          • Over-55s are highest spenders
                                                            • Figure 11: Volume of holidays to France, by age, 2014
                                                          • Paris problems increase the need to diversify
                                                            • Figure 12: Holidays to France, by volume, value, number of nights and average spend per night/day, by trip duration, 2014
                                                            • Figure 13: UK tourist arrivals to France, by region, 2013
                                                        • Market Background

                                                          • UK economic recovery slowing…
                                                            • Figure 14: UK average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses)* vs CPI inflation, percentage change year on year, June 2013-October 2015
                                                            • Figure 15: The financial confidence index, January 2009-November 2015
                                                          • …but short-term travel prospects still good
                                                            • Market faces mounting terrorism threat
                                                              • Figure 16: Domestic vs overseas holidays, by volume, 2010-15
                                                              • Figure 17: Top 10 overseas holiday destinations, 2010-14
                                                            • Sterling revival may have hit the buffers
                                                              • Figure 18: Average quarterly mid-point exchange rate, GBP versus euro, Q1 2011-Q4 2015
                                                            • France falling behind on value for money…
                                                              • Figure 19: Worldwide holiday resort costs, 2014-16
                                                            • …but huge capacity shift to Spain may open opportunities
                                                              • Fuel opportunities
                                                                • Figure 20: Brent crude spot oil price (US$ per barrel), January 2014-November 2015
                                                              • France cheaper than UK for driving holidays
                                                                • Figure 21: Motoring costs per 1,000 miles, 2013-15
                                                              • Key transport developments
                                                                • Eurostar fleet/route expansion
                                                                  • Au revoir to MyFerryLink
                                                                    • No frills for Brittany Ferries
                                                                      • New airline routes to France – 2015
                                                                        • New airline routes to France – 2016
                                                                          • November Paris attacks
                                                                            • Possible recovery times
                                                                              • Migrant crisis affecting Channel ports
                                                                                • Consumer perception of events
                                                                                  • French tourism – New developments and campaigns
                                                                                    • Challenge to make visitors stay longer, go further
                                                                                      • Regions into brands
                                                                                        • Campaign activity
                                                                                          • Euro 2016 opportunity
                                                                                          • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                            • Eurostar increases capacity
                                                                                              • Pet-friendly holidays
                                                                                                • Parc life
                                                                                                  • Putting on the Ritz
                                                                                                    • Peer-to-peer
                                                                                                      • Themed tours growing
                                                                                                        • Tackling the language barrier
                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                          • Creature comforts
                                                                                                            • Eurocamp new developments
                                                                                                              • Premium hotel openings
                                                                                                                • Parisian’s Paris
                                                                                                                  • Learning holidays
                                                                                                                    • Ferry-inclusive tour growth
                                                                                                                      • Activity and adventure
                                                                                                                        • Back to nature
                                                                                                                          • New cave openings
                                                                                                                            • Making theatre more accessible
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                              • Beyond Paris
                                                                                                                                • Rural retreat
                                                                                                                                  • Female Francophiles
                                                                                                                                    • Convenience rated as top factor
                                                                                                                                      • Negative perceptions
                                                                                                                                        • Aviation avoidance
                                                                                                                                        • Experience of Holidaying in France

                                                                                                                                          • Core consumer groups
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Past experience and future intentions of holidaying in France, November 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Under-35s most likely to visit
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Age profile of those who have holidayed in France over the past three years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Over one in three visitors are ABs…
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Socio-economic profile of those who have holidayed in France over the past three years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                          • …but France needs to cater for a wide range of budgets
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Household income profile of those who have holidayed in France over the past three years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Airlines opening up France to UK regions
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Geographical residence profile of those who have holidayed in France over the past three years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Need to attract older families
                                                                                                                                          • Types of Holiday in France

                                                                                                                                            • One in three visitors go to Paris
                                                                                                                                              • Need for diversification
                                                                                                                                                • Hidden Paris
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Types of holiday taken in France in the past 3 years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Future potential
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Future interest in taking holidays in France, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Strong interest in rural holidays and touring
                                                                                                                                                  • Female enthusiasm
                                                                                                                                                    • ‘Beach-plus’ holidays in France
                                                                                                                                                      • France offers good scope for active adventurers
                                                                                                                                                      • French Holiday Accommodation

                                                                                                                                                        • Key accommodation segments
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Type of holiday accommodation used in France in the past 3 years, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Rental property gateway to the real France
                                                                                                                                                            • Outdoor families
                                                                                                                                                            • Strengths and Weaknesses of France as a Holiday Destination

                                                                                                                                                              • France lacks a ‘killer’ advantage
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: How France compares to other European holiday destinations visited, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                • Negative concerns – Weather
                                                                                                                                                                  • Negative concerns – Value
                                                                                                                                                                    • Negative concerns – Welcome/service
                                                                                                                                                                      • Winning back the Boomers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes towards Holidays in France

                                                                                                                                                                        • Transport opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Attitudes towards France as a holiday destination, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                        • Rewarding loyal Francophiles
                                                                                                                                                                          • Barriers – ‘Just a short break destination’
                                                                                                                                                                            • Barriers – France lacks excitement
                                                                                                                                                                              • Barriers – Lack of awareness
                                                                                                                                                                                • Barriers – Lost in translation
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Definition
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Holidays to France - UK - February 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                    £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)