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Holidays to the US - UK - September 2009

The number of holidaymakers opting for overseas breaks has fallen dramatically in 2009. The drop began in the second half of 2008 as the recession took hold, and the number of those travelling to the US was hit hard. Thus ended the gradual rise that had been apparent post-9/11, denting the hopes of US tourism chiefs that year-2000 levels would soon be reached again.

However, the country has retained its long-held position as the UK holidaymaker’s favourite long-haul choice, thanks to factors including the variety of US attractions, a favourable climate (depending on destination), value for money, exchange rates (both for the US Dollar and the euro) and the ties between the two countries – whether psychological or tangible (such as the flow of investment between the two nations, and the recent tie-up of London and New York’s tourism authorities).

This report examines how all the facets of this appeal can be best employed to counter the effect of a diminished travelling public. It looks at consumer trends, how the recession has impacted the market, innovations of relevance, exclusive research considering UK consumers’ attitudes towards holidaying in the US and the future of the market.

Key issues

  • What is the impact of the recession on holidays to the US? How have fluctuating exchange rates affected the market?

  • Who are the key consumers, and what do future demographic trends indicate for the prospects of UK holidays to the US?

  • What attracts consumers to the US, and what are the most popular destinations within the country? Conversely, why do those who do not consider a holiday in the US stay away?

  • What are the key competitor regions/countries to the US? What advantages/disadvantages does the country have in comparison?

  • Has the election of Barack Obama resulted in the (much-hyped) boost to tourism that many predicted?

  • How do people book their holiday to the US, and what do they look for in a break? How much do they spend, and how long do they stay for? Has this changed over time?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Things to see and do
              • Brand USA
                • Familiarity breeds…
                  • Authenticity and Fauxthenticity
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Holidays to the US hit by the recession…
                      • …but the country is still our top long-haul choice
                        • Demographic future
                          • A lack of Obama effect
                            • The lure of the new
                            • Internal Market Environment

                              • Key points
                                • Holidays take a hit
                                  • Figure 1: Overseas holiday volume and expenditure, 2004-09
                                • Dropouts and top-ups
                                  • Figure 2: Percentage of adults booking UK and overseas holidays, 2009
                                • Europe losing out
                                  • Figure 3: All overseas travel, by region, 2004-08
                                • Flying in…
                                  • Figure 4: Passengers from UK to US, by air, 2004-09
                                • …for less?
                                  • Rules and regulations
                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                    • Key points
                                      • Spending power
                                        • Figure 5: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                      • US ABCDEs
                                        • Figure 6: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                      • Families floundering, as aged accelerate
                                        • Figure 7: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                        • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                      • Online and off on holiday
                                        • Figure 9: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, socio-economic group, age, region and working status, 2004-09
                                      • Recessionary impact
                                        • Figure 10: Things the recession has prevented consumers doing or buying over the next 12 months, February 2009
                                      • Exchange rates
                                        • Figure 11: Sterling exchange rates at mid-point of year, 2005-09
                                    • Competitive Context

                                      • Key points
                                        • Old Glory vs New Europe
                                          • Figure 12: Overseas holidays, by region, 2004-08
                                        • Business or pleasure
                                          • Figure 13: Purpose of visit to North America*, 2004-08
                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                          • Strengths
                                            • Weaknesses
                                              • Recessionary impact
                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Attractions
                                                    • Marketing initiatives
                                                      • Offers
                                                        • Operators
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Figure 14: All overseas holidays and holidays to the US, 2004-14
                                                          • Past
                                                            • Present
                                                              • Future
                                                                • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                • Segment Performance

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Figure 15: Trends in total cost of holiday (excluding spending money), 2005-09
                                                                  • Single surge
                                                                    • Figure 16: Number of people on last holidaay to US, 2005-09
                                                                  • See the city
                                                                    • Figure 17: Type of US holiday, 2005-09
                                                                  • Bedding down
                                                                    • Figure 18: Trends in type of accommodation, 2005-09
                                                                  • Advance notice
                                                                    • Figure 19: How far in advance holiday to US was booked, 2005-09
                                                                  • Stay away
                                                                    • Figure 20: Nights spent away during holiday to the US, 2005-09
                                                                • Market Share

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • US leads the long-haul pack
                                                                      • Figure 21: Top 15 countries visited from the UK (2008), 2004-08
                                                                    • Where in the US?
                                                                      • Figure 22: Volume and market share of regions and states visited, by all UK visitors, 2007 and 2008
                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Archers Direct
                                                                        • Black Tomato
                                                                          • Kuoni Group
                                                                            • Thomas Cook Group
                                                                              • TUI Travel
                                                                                • Virgin Holidays
                                                                                  • Visit USA Association (UK)
                                                                                  • Distribution

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Method used to book last US holiday, 2005-09
                                                                                    • Internet in ascendancy
                                                                                    • What Holidaymakers Look For

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Factors looked for in a holiday, April 2009
                                                                                      • Getting away from it all…
                                                                                        • …and choosing the US
                                                                                            • Figure 25: Activities holidaymakers to the US most enjoy doing on holiday, 2009
                                                                                          • Fed and rested
                                                                                          • Who Goes On Holiday to the US?

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Figure 26: Holiday to the US, April 2009
                                                                                            • Transatlantic travellers
                                                                                              • Think about the future
                                                                                                • No thank US
                                                                                                • Attitudes Towards Holidays to the US

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Attitudes towards holidays to the US, April 2009
                                                                                                  • Things to see and do
                                                                                                    • Expense is the number one problem
                                                                                                      • The Obama (non) effect
                                                                                                      • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Target groups
                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Holidays to the US target groups, April 2009
                                                                                                          • US A-OK
                                                                                                            • Touring Tourists
                                                                                                              • Middle of the Highway
                                                                                                                • Whatever
                                                                                                                  • Not For Us
                                                                                                                    • Go, enjoy
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Holiday to the US, by target groups, April 2009
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – What Holidaymakers Look For

                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Most popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Next most popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Other factors looked for in a holiday, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Least popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Who Goes on Holiday to the US?

                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Holidays to the US, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Enthusiasm for holidays to the US amongst consumers who have not been, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Holidays to the US

                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Most popular attitudes towards holidays to the US, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Next most popular attitudes towards holidays to the US, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Other attitudes towards holidays to the US, by demographics, April 2009
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Factors looked for in a holiday, by target groups, April 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Target groups, by demographics, April 2009

                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                  • Archers Direct
                                                                                                                  • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                  • British Market Research Bureau (BMRB)
                                                                                                                  • Civil Aviation Authority
                                                                                                                  • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                  • Direct Holidays
                                                                                                                  • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                  • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                  • Home Box Office, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                  • Kirker Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                  • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                  • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                  • Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
                                                                                                                  • Ryanair Holdings plc
                                                                                                                  • Somerfield
                                                                                                                  • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                  • Thomson Holidays
                                                                                                                  • TUI UK
                                                                                                                  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
                                                                                                                  • US Department of Commerce
                                                                                                                  • Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited
                                                                                                                  • Waitrose
                                                                                                                  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                  • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                  Holidays to the US - UK - September 2009

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