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Special Interest Holidays - UK - March 2017

“The ageing of the population, in particular the Baby Boomers, is likely to be a positive growth factor for special interest holidays in the coming years as a travel-hungry generation with relatively high levels of affluence finds more time to explore its hobbies and personal passions.”
– John Worthington, Senior Analyst

This Report discuesses the following key topics:

  • Travel Boomers seek mental stimulation
  • Solo/group travel opportunities …
  • … but more independent styles of travel are also needed
  • Holidays as catalysts of educational and career change

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • One in 20 holidaymakers take a special interest holiday
            • Figure 1: Types of holiday taken abroad in the past three years, February 2017
          • Short break revival is good for special interest sector
            • Craft revolution and wellbeing are key leisure trends
              • Specialist Journeys makes inroads into fragmented market
                • Walking, gastronomy, history and nature offer biggest opportunities
                  • Figure 2: Hobbies and interests, February 2017
                • Pre- and post-family markets are key
                  • Figure 3: Experience of special interest holidays, February 2017
                • Social and expertise factors rated highly
                  • Key messages include a ‘better way to relax’ and ‘authenticity’
                    • Figure 4: Attitudes towards special interest holidays, February 2017
                  • What we think
                  • Issues and Insights

                    • Travel Boomers seek mental stimulation
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Solo/group travel opportunities …
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                                • … but more independent styles of travel are also needed
                                  • The facts
                                    • The implications
                                      • Holidays as catalysts of educational and career change
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                            • 5-6% of holidaymakers take hobby-based trips
                                              • Holidays abroad remain in strong growth cycle but spending may start to fall
                                                • Short ‘top-up’ breaks favour special interest trips
                                                  • Craft and wellness are key trends
                                                    • Mature market potential
                                                    • Market Size

                                                      • Around 6% of holidaymakers take ‘special interest’ holidays
                                                          • Figure 5: Types of holiday taken abroad in the past three years, February 2017
                                                      • Market Background

                                                        • Return of short break habit helpful for special interest breaks
                                                          • Figure 6: Overseas and domestic holiday volume and expenditure, 2011-16
                                                        • Falling Pound yet to impact on holidays
                                                          • But rising prices likely to dampen growth in travel spending
                                                            • Rising exercise participation can feed into more active holidays
                                                              • Figure 7: Numbers of people aged 16+ engaged in sports participation at least once a week in England, 2005/06-2015/16
                                                            • UK’s most popular hobbies
                                                                • Figure 8: Participation and interest in hobbies, November 2016
                                                              • Dance craze
                                                                • Crafty pursuits
                                                                  • Therapeutic play and wellness
                                                                    • Rising longevity offers new opportunities
                                                                      • Figure 9: Life expectancy at age 65 in England, 1992-94 to 2012-14
                                                                    • Mental stimulation a high priority for older generations
                                                                      • Figure 10: Leisure time preferences, by generational group, June 2015
                                                                    • Rise in solo living among over-45s
                                                                      • Figure 11: Number of people living alone in the UK, by age group, 2006-16
                                                                    • New forms of adult learning
                                                                      • Growing numbers are seeking to turn hobbies into careers
                                                                      • Launch Activity – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Group holiday format dominates sector
                                                                          • Special interest tour operators
                                                                            • Online intermediaries
                                                                              • New product trends
                                                                                • Mainstream experience providers
                                                                                • Special Interest Holiday Brands

                                                                                  • Group travel/escorted tour model dominates special interest sector
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Special Interest holiday brands who are members of AITO, February 2017
                                                                                  • Leading brands
                                                                                    • Others
                                                                                      • Escorted Tour Operators
                                                                                        • Intermediaries
                                                                                          • Adventure brands
                                                                                            • Other activity brands
                                                                                            • Product Innovation

                                                                                                • Special interest combinations
                                                                                                  • TV-tie ins
                                                                                                    • Celebrity experts
                                                                                                      • Age and youth
                                                                                                        • Special interest in the mainstream – Cruises
                                                                                                          • Special interest in the mainstream – Experience providers
                                                                                                            • P2P trend
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                              • Slow travel potential
                                                                                                                • Generational interest differences
                                                                                                                  • Key demographics
                                                                                                                    • Deepeners & experimenters
                                                                                                                      • Meeting new people is a key element for over half of customers
                                                                                                                        • Three out of four potential customers prefer a good balance
                                                                                                                          • A more effective way to relax
                                                                                                                            • Targeting the time-poor
                                                                                                                              • Gateway to the destination
                                                                                                                              • Hobbies & Interests

                                                                                                                                • Slow travel/slow food combination likely to be popular
                                                                                                                                  • Over one in five adults regard photography as a hobby
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Hobbies and interests, February 2017
                                                                                                                                  • Art history and star gazing offer niche holiday potential
                                                                                                                                    • Bookish breaks
                                                                                                                                      • Gaming holidays & hotels
                                                                                                                                        • Brands should play with gender expectations
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Hobbies and interests, by gender February 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Hands-on, skills-based learning and sports appeal most to under-35s
                                                                                                                                          • History, reading & gardening have biggest over-45 appeal
                                                                                                                                            • Walking has widest age appeal
                                                                                                                                            • Experience of Special Interest Holidays

                                                                                                                                              • Over one in three adults have taken a hobby-focussed holiday
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Experience of special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Men, under-35s and ABs are most likely groups to take a hobby-based holiday
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Demographic profile of those who have been on special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                              • Singles more likely than couples to pursue hobbies on holiday
                                                                                                                                                • Walking, food, history & nature have most potential for special interest holidays
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Hobbies of those who are interested in taking special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                • Millennials are the hungriest for learning on holiday
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Preferred holidays chosen by generational groups (rated 4 or 5 on a five-point scale), June 2015
                                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Not Taking Special Interest Holidays

                                                                                                                                                • Lack of awareness is a key barrier
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Reasons for not taking special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                • Group formats may put people off
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Reasons why people don’t want to take a group holiday, January 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Independent, self-guided and tailor-made opportunities
                                                                                                                                                • Special Interest Holidays – Preferences

                                                                                                                                                  • Deepeners versus experimenters
                                                                                                                                                    • Social elements are important for younger travellers
                                                                                                                                                      • Expertise is key selling-point
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Important factors of special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Important factors of special interest holidays, rated 4 or 5, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                      • Majority prefer a balance of hobby and other holiday activities
                                                                                                                                                        • Singles prefer budget accommodation
                                                                                                                                                          • 27% of customers would go alone/as part of a group holiday
                                                                                                                                                            • 21% of those living in a couple would prefer to take a hobby break without their partner
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Preferences for special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards Special Interest Holidays

                                                                                                                                                            • Hobbies on holiday can help people unwind more quickly
                                                                                                                                                              • Time-poor employees with kids are attracted by chance to re-focus on hobby
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Attitudes towards special interest holidays, February 2017
                                                                                                                                                              • Holiday as career change catalyst
                                                                                                                                                                • Special interest can create a deeper experience of destination culture
                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers want more information on astronomy, art, language & creative holidays
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                    • Definitions
                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                                                                      Special Interest Holidays - UK - March 2017

                                                                                                                                                                      US $2,478.79 (Excl.Tax)