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Individualism vs Grouping - UK - May 2009

As the frequency and variety of holidays have grown in recent years, people have increasingly had the means, desire and opportunity to go on holidays catering to their individual tastes: to travel alone, to travel with friends or groups outside of the traditional family/couples format.

Although three quarters of holidays are still taken within ‘traditional’ family or couple units, future demographic trends have the potential to further reshape the travel industry landscape. Office of National Statistics projections to 2031 show that the singles population in England & Wales is set to grow by 31%, accounting for an estimated 45% of the total adult population.

This report explores the dynamics of holiday grouping in terms of who people choose to go on holiday with and issues of travel individualism vs grouping in the contemporary consumer mindset.

Main issues:
  • What is the extent of solo travel? Is it mainly single people who travel on their own or are those with partners/families increasingly travelling solo?

  • Are organisations increasingly getting involved in group travel – creating trips for people with shared interests? What is the potential for these kinds of trips?

  • Which destinations and types of holiday attract solo travellers, groups of friends, couples and families?

  • Do family obligations prevent people from ‘doing their own thing’ on holiday?

  • How should companies target different demographic groups on the basis of their attitudes to individualism vs grouping?

  • Who are the main companies developing products for solo travellers, and where is innovation occurring? How is the economic downturn affecting this market?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues:
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Alpha Mum holidays
              • Targeting and role models
                • Travel third agelessness
                  • Activities and technology
                    • Tribal travel
                      • (Anti)social
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Travel companions
                          • Singles surge
                            • Solo dynamics
                              • Greta Garbo
                                • Family frustration
                                  • Travel networking
                                    • Sun, sea, sand and…self
                                    • Internal Market Environment

                                      • Key points
                                        • Mixed messages
                                          • Figure 1: Domestic and overseas holiday volumes, 2004-09
                                        • Beyond the eurozone
                                          • Figure 2: Overseas holidays, by region, 2004-08
                                        • Package fall
                                          • Figure 3: Inclusive holidays versus independent holidays, by volume, 2004-09
                                        • Portfolio travellers
                                          • Figure 4: Singles: number of holidays taken, 2004-08
                                          • Figure 5: Non-singles: number of holidays taken, 2004-08
                                        • Stay at home singles
                                          • Supplementary deterrent
                                          • Broader Market Environment

                                            • Key points
                                              • (Pale) green shoots?
                                                • Figure 6: Consumer Confidence Index, February 2008-March 2009
                                                • Figure 7: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                              • …or saving for a rainy day?
                                                • AB growth
                                                  • Figure 8: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                                • Flat family
                                                  • Figure 9: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                                • 25+ potential
                                                  • Figure 10: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                                • Small is beautiful
                                                  • Figure 11: UK household sizes, 2004-14
                                                • Wedding blues
                                                  • Figure 12: Marital status, by gender and age in Great Britain, 2007
                                                • Singles boom
                                                  • Figure 13: Percentage change in adult population, by marital status, for England & Wales, 2007-31
                                                • Taking the long view
                                                  • Figure 14: Population of England & Wales, by age and legal marital status, 1991-2031
                                                • Money matters
                                                  • Figure 15: Sterling exchange rates at the beginning of each year, 2005-09
                                              • Competitive Context

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Domestic bounce?
                                                    • Figure 16: Number of adults that have taken a holiday in the past 12 months, 2004-08
                                                  • London calling
                                                    • Figure 17: UK locations visited on last holiday, 2004-08
                                                  • Active solos
                                                    • Figure 18: Places visited in Britain, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                  • Turkey grows as Spain slumps
                                                    • Figure 19: European locations visited on last holiday, 2004-08
                                                  • Scandinavian solos
                                                    • Figure 20: Places visited in Europe, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                  • Pyramid pull
                                                    • Figure 21: Places visited outside Europe, 2004-08
                                                  • Solos go east, families go west
                                                    • Figure 22: Places visited outside Europe, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                    • Strengths
                                                      • Singles population growth
                                                        • Solo travel strong in key segments
                                                          • Online social networking
                                                            • Adventurous and experimental solos
                                                              • ABC1 third age potential
                                                                • Weaknesses
                                                                  • Traditional formats still dominant
                                                                    • Financial disincentives and no mainstream
                                                                      • Singles take fewer holidays
                                                                        • Recession
                                                                          • Family obligation
                                                                          • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Food of love
                                                                                • Divergent needs
                                                                                  • Finding yourself
                                                                                    • Hermit holidays
                                                                                      • Virtual communities and TwiTrips
                                                                                        • Group holidays
                                                                                        • Market Size

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Past and present: Solo penetration stays flat
                                                                                              • Figure 23: Holidays taken, by who holidaymakers went with on last holiday, 2008
                                                                                            • Demanding couples
                                                                                              • Figure 24: Estimated holiday volume, by who holidaymakers went with, 2004-08
                                                                                            • Future: Niche needs and alternative formats
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Cost (excluding spending money) of last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                              • Cutting back
                                                                                                • Figure 26: Cost of last holiday, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Singular behaviour
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Who singles and non-singles went on holiday with, 2008
                                                                                                • Solos go long-haul
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Holiday destination, by who holidaymakers went with on last holiday, 2008
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Estimated holiday volumes split, by region and travelling companions, 2008
                                                                                                • Beach trips fall
                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Holiday type taken for last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                • Niche market solos
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Holiday type taken for last holiday, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                                • All-inclusive surge
                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Type of accommodation for last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                • Friends and relations/B&Bs for solos
                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Accommodation type, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                                • Holiday shortening
                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Nights spent away on last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                • Solos go long or short
                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Nights spent away, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                              • Companies and Products

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                    • Soft adventure
                                                                                                      • Explore
                                                                                                        • Singles specialists
                                                                                                          • Just You
                                                                                                            • Singular Travel
                                                                                                              • Solo’s Holidays
                                                                                                                • Wellness/special interest
                                                                                                                  • Andalucian Adventures
                                                                                                                    • Skyros Holidays
                                                                                                                      • Online networking
                                                                                                                        • 20 Days
                                                                                                                        • Distribution

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Declining high street
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: How last holiday was booked, 2004-08
                                                                                                                            • Rise of web
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Method used to book last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                                            • Solos book flight-only
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: How last holiday was booked, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Method of booking last holiday, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                                                          • What do Holidaymakers Want?

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Relaxation, relaxation and relaxation
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Key factors of good holidays 2007 and 2009
                                                                                                                              • Third age culture vultures/nature lovers
                                                                                                                                • Single socialising
                                                                                                                                  • Space for women
                                                                                                                                  • Who Goes Away With Whom?

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Type of holiday
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Type of holiday taken in the last three years, February 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Solo travel and gender
                                                                                                                                        • Singles/cohabitees more likely to go solo
                                                                                                                                          • Going with friends
                                                                                                                                            • Multi-family holidays
                                                                                                                                              • Stagnant stags
                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes Toward Individualism vs Grouping

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Family commitments come out top
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Attitudes towards individual and group holidays, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Family comes first
                                                                                                                                                    • Third age potential
                                                                                                                                                      • Individuated ABs
                                                                                                                                                        • Family at war
                                                                                                                                                          • Multi-generational holidays
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Lifestyle statements, by who holidaymakers went with, 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Adventurous solos
                                                                                                                                                          • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Individualism vs grouping target groups
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Individualism vs Grouping target groups, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Target groups, by attitudes towards individual and group holidays, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • The Discoverers
                                                                                                                                                                • Family First
                                                                                                                                                                  • The Conflicted
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Disengaged
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cultural discoverers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Target groups, by key factors of a good holiday, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Travel preferences
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Target groups, by holidays taken in the last three years, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Number of factors that make a good holiday
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: number of factors important in making a good holiday, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Holiday enthusiasts
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Number of factors important in making a good holiday, by those factors, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Diverse needs
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Number of factors important in making a good holiday, by holidays taken in the last three years, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Non-family holidaymakers have more complex needs
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Number of factors important in making a good holiday, by attitudes towards holidays, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Important factors by target groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Target groups, by number of factors important in making a good holiday, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Number of people on last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: How many went on holiday, by who they went with, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – What do Holidaymakers Want?

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Most important factors of good holidays, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Next most important factors of good holidays, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Who Goes Away With Whom?

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Type of holiday taken in the last three years, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Attitudes Toward Individualism vs Grouping

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Most popular attitudes towards individual and group holidays, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Next most popular attitudes towards individual and group holidays, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Target groups, by demographic sub-group, February 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Number of factors that make a good holiday, by demographic sub-group, February 2009

                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                    • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Butlins Skyline Limited
                                                                                                                                                                    • Center Parcs
                                                                                                                                                                    • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                    • Cosmos Group (Globus group of companies)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Eurocamp
                                                                                                                                                                    • Exodus Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Explore Worldwide Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                    • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Freeview
                                                                                                                                                                    • Friendship Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                                                                    • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Harley Davidson, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                    • Headwater Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • Holidaybreak plc
                                                                                                                                                                    • ITV plc
                                                                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                    • Keycamp
                                                                                                                                                                    • Kuoni Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Lake District National Park Authority
                                                                                                                                                                    • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                    • Neilson Active Holidays Limited
                                                                                                                                                                    • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Olympic Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • PGL Adventure Holidays Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Sandals and Beaches Holidays (Europe)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Solo's Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • Somerfield
                                                                                                                                                                    • SpeedBreaks
                                                                                                                                                                    • Superbreak Mini Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                    • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                    • Travelsphere Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                    • Trek America
                                                                                                                                                                    • TUI Travel PLC
                                                                                                                                                                    • Virgin Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • VisitBritain
                                                                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                    • XL Leisure

                                                                                                                                                                    Individualism vs Grouping - UK - May 2009

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