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Learning from my Holiday - UK - August 2009

Despite a lingering reputation for philistinism, Brits on holiday show a high degree of cultural engagement, with six out of ten adults having visited a museum and learnt about the location whilst on holiday in the past three years.

Specialist learning holidays – offering creative, linguistic, sporting or other skills – have also enjoyed strong growth in recent years, as the desire for an ever more varied holiday diet has grown on the back of cheap flights and the taste for more active and novel styles of holiday-making.

This report provides an overview of trends in ‘learning from my holiday’, investigating the core market factors, strengths and weaknesses, consumer dynamics, and likely future developments.

Key issues

  • Who are the key consumers for ‘soft’ cultural learning’ and ‘harder’, more skills-based learning on holiday? What motivates people to take learning holidays?

  • What is the impact of the recession on attitudes towards learning on holiday and specialist providers of learning holidays?

  • What are the main types of learning holiday, which are growing fastest, what is the scale of current demand for learning on holiday, and what types of learning have the greatest future potential?

  • What is the supply structure like for learning holidays? What type of products are being developed? How do specialist operators attract their customers? What are the key strengths and weaknesses of this sector?

  • What is the importance of the singles market and solo travel? What is the likely impact of the ageing of the population?

  • What kind of marketing messages and what style of language can help to broaden the appeal of learning on holiday?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Holidays as play
              • Play Ethic
                • Learning outside of the box
                  • Mismatched Opportunities
                    • Moral re-armament
                    • Market in Brief

                      • Beyond fly and flop
                        • Getting involved
                          • Feeling the pinch
                            • Growth potential
                              • The real thing
                                • Recruiting ground
                                • Internal Market Environment

                                  • Key points
                                    • Decade of growth ends
                                      • Figure 1: Domestic and overseas holidays, by volume, 2004-09
                                    • Purse strings tighten
                                      • Figure 2: Domestic and overseas holidays, by value, 2004-09
                                    • Polarised trends
                                      • Figure 3: Number of UK and overseas holidays taken, 2004-08
                                    • Low-cost catalyst
                                      • Figure 4: Scheduled passengers carried by easyJet and Ryanair, 2004-09
                                    • Hobbies get time-squeezed
                                      • Figure 5: Weekday time spent on hobbies and sports, by holidaymakers, 2004-08
                                    • Holiday boffins
                                      • Figure 6: Any interest in academic subjects, by holidaymakers, 2008
                                    • Growing divide in adult education
                                      • Learning revolution
                                        • Democratisation or dumbing down?
                                        • Broader Market Environment

                                          • Key points
                                            • Hopes of recovery
                                              • Figure 7: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, June 2008-May 2009
                                            • Spending falls
                                              • Figure 8: Trends in personal disposable income and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                                            • Hols still top priority
                                              • Figure 9: Expenditure priorities for the year ahead, January 2008 and 2009
                                            • Growing ABs demand holiday learning
                                              • Figure 10: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2004-14
                                            • Holidays to grow older and wiser?
                                              • Figure 11: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2004-14
                                            • Expanding age groups have growth potential
                                              • Figure 12: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2004-14
                                            • Going solo
                                              • Figure 13: UK household sizes, 2004-14
                                            • Learning from Web 2.0
                                              • Figure 14: British internet penetration at home/work/place of study or elsewhere, by gender, age, socio-economic group, region and working status, 2004-09
                                            • Non-eurozone trips to grow further
                                              • Figure 15: Sterling exchange rates at the beginning of each year, 2005-09
                                          • Competitive Context

                                            • Key points
                                              • Degree of conservatism
                                                • Figure 16: Type of holiday taken for last holiday, 2004-08
                                              • Back to the beach?
                                                • Figure 17: Type of holiday taken for last holiday abroad, 2004-08
                                              • Head for the hills
                                                • Figure 18: Type of holiday taken for last domestic holiday, 2004-08
                                            • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                • Strengths
                                                  • LCC expansion
                                                    • ‘Binge’ learning and authenticity
                                                      • Future growth potential
                                                        • Favourable population trends
                                                          • Careerist breaks
                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                              • Impact of recession
                                                                • Reliance on ‘top-up’ holidays
                                                                  • Body vs mind
                                                                    • Young adult bias of harder learning holidays
                                                                      • Small companies lack ‘voice’ in market
                                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Combined learning
                                                                            • Back to basics
                                                                              • When in Rome
                                                                                • The real thing
                                                                                  • Blue sky thinking
                                                                                    • Time travel
                                                                                      • Space odyssey
                                                                                      • Market Size

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Recent holiday learning activity
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Learning on holiday in the past, April 2009
                                                                                          • Specialist learning hols take a hit
                                                                                            • Future growth curve expected
                                                                                            • Segment Performance

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Niche markets
                                                                                                  • Figure 20: All activities enjoyed on holiday, by holidaymakers, 2008
                                                                                                • Sports/physical activity tuition
                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Activity holidays, 2004-08
                                                                                                  • Creative learning holidays
                                                                                                    • Language learning holidays
                                                                                                      • Cultural/historical holidays
                                                                                                        • Schools education
                                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                              • Andalucian Adventures
                                                                                                                • Cactus Language
                                                                                                                  • Club Dance Holidays
                                                                                                                    • English Heritage
                                                                                                                      • GoLearnTo.com
                                                                                                                        • Holidaybreak plc (NST)
                                                                                                                          • Light & Land
                                                                                                                            • Martin Randall Travel
                                                                                                                              • On The Menu
                                                                                                                                • The School of Life
                                                                                                                                  • Warner Leisure Hotels
                                                                                                                                    • Experience aggregators
                                                                                                                                    • Distribution

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Internet becomes dominant booking channel
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: How last holiday was booked and method used to book last holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                        • High street looks to home?
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: How last domestic holiday was booked and method used to book last domestic holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                        • Seeking sanctuary?
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: How last overseas holiday was booked and method used to book last overseas holiday, 2004-08
                                                                                                                                      • What People Look for in a Holiday

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Relaxation the main component
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Key factors of good holidays, April 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Lexicon of learning
                                                                                                                                          • Actual Experience of Learning on Holiday

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Learning on holiday in the past, April 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Broad appeal of soft learning
                                                                                                                                              • Young adults seek harder holiday learning
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Most popular learning activities on holiday in the past, by things looked for in a holiday, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Culture/nature crossover
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Next most popular learning activities on holiday in the past, by things looked for in a holiday, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Sporting chance
                                                                                                                                                • Learning From Holiday Intentions

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Local knowledge most popular
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Learning from holiday intentions, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Learning potential
                                                                                                                                                      • Female enthusiasm
                                                                                                                                                        • Older singles seek learning packages
                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Towards Learning From Holidays

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • The majority can take it or leave it
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Attitudes towards learning from holidays, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • No philistines
                                                                                                                                                              • Learning materials
                                                                                                                                                                • Harder learning attitudes
                                                                                                                                                                  • Different learning styles
                                                                                                                                                                  • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Target groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Travel broadens the mind
                                                                                                                                                                          • Learning for softies
                                                                                                                                                                            • Floppers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Apathetic
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Things looked for in a holiday, by target group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                • Social learning
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Me-time for softies
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Past learning experiences by target group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Learning on holiday in the past, by target group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Future learning experiences by target group
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Learning on holiday in the future, by target group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Language and skills hols have real growth potential
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – What People Look For On Holiday

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Most popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Next most popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Least popular factors looked for in a holiday, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Actual Experience of Learning on Holiday

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Most popular learning on holiday in the past, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Next most popular learning on holiday in the past, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Learning Intentions

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Most popular learning on holiday in the future, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Next most popular learning on holiday in the future, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Learning From Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Most popular attitudes towards learning from holidays, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Next most popular attitudes towards learning from holidays, by demographic sub-group, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Most popular attitudes towards learning from holidays, by learning on holiday in the future, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Next most popular attitudes towards learning from holidays, by learning on holiday in the future, April 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Target groups, by demographic sub-group, April 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bourne Leisure Group
                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • BT Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                    • easyJet Airline Company Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Eurocamp
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gfk NOP
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Holidaybreak plc
                                                                                                                                                                                    • isango!
                                                                                                                                                                                    • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Keycamp
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Martin Randall Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Microsoft Ltd (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Royal Yachting Association (RYA)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ryanair Holdings plc
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Saga Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Association of Independent Tour Operators
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                    Learning from my Holiday - UK - August 2009

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