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The Holiday Planning and Booking Process - UK - June 2016

”Mobile bookings are on the increase. More holidaymakers feel comfortable using their smartphone due to larger screen sizes and travel brands improving their app and mobile web functionality. Over time, both the smartphone and the smart TV should play a greater role in the holiday planning and booking process, making it a more mobile and social experience.”
– Fergal McGivney, Travel Analyst

This report examines the following areas:

  • Increasing mobile use in the research process
  • Mobile bookings are on an upward trend
  • Using immersive video in the research process
  • Smart TV apps proving relatively popular at this early stage

Consumers are feeling relatively confident despite political unrest, terrorist attacks and air traffic controller strikes overseas. Both domestic and overseas holidays grew in 2015, and low airfares should lead to a good year going forward.

This Report examines the behaviours and attitudes of British adults concerning how they research and book leisure holidays, both in the UK and abroad. A holiday must constitute at least one overnight stay. The business travel market is not reviewed in this Report.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope of the Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Overseas market growing at pace
              • Figure 1: Forecast of overseas holiday market volume, 2010-20
            • Domestic market rebounds in 2015
              • Figure 2: Forecast of domestic holiday market volume, 2010-20
            • The consumer
              • Nearly a quarter of travellers do holiday research using a mobile
                • Figure 3: Research sources used, April 2016^
              • Google remarketing tools can help reach holidaymakers
                • Figure 4: Online research sources, April 2016
              • Mobile bookings on an upward trend
                • Figure 5: Device used to book most recent holiday, March 2015 and April 2016
              • Direct hotel bookings and online travel agent bookings increase
                • Figure 6: Online booking method, March 2015 and April 2016
              • B2C social media messaging services can revolutionise interaction
                • Figure 7: Attitudes towards holiday planning and booking, April 2016
              • Allowing consumers to get more involved through 360º video
                • Figure 8: Holiday planning and booking behaviours, April 2016
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Increasing mobile use in the research process
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Mobile bookings are on an upward trend
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Using immersive video in the research process
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Smart TV apps proving relatively popular at this early stage
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Consumers are returning overseas
                                      • Domestic holidays rebound after a poor 2014
                                        • Consumer confidence to improve if Britain votes to stay in the EU
                                        • Market Outlook

                                          • Small increase in total holiday volume going towards 2020
                                            • Figure 9: Estimated total holiday market volume and value, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 10: Forecast of total holiday market volume, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 11: Forecast of total holiday market value*, 2010-20
                                          • Strong overseas growth as consumers return overseas
                                            • Figure 12: Overseas holiday market volume and value*, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 13: Forecast of overseas holiday market volume, 2010-20
                                            • Figure 14: Forecast of overseas holiday market value, 2010-20
                                          • Domestic trips return to growth in 2015
                                              • Figure 15: Estimated domestic holiday market volume and value*, 2010-20
                                              • Figure 16: Forecast of domestic holiday market volume, 2010-20
                                              • Figure 17: Forecast of domestic holiday market value*, 2010-20
                                          • Market Drivers

                                            • UK economic growth slows but wages increase
                                              • Winter months are key times for bookings
                                                • Figure 19: Percentage of consumers who plan to book a holiday in the next three months, by month, April 2015-April 2016
                                              • Portugal’s Algarve offers the best value, while Cape Town is the cheapest long-haul destination
                                                  • Figure 20: Post Office Worldwide Cost Barometer 2016
                                                • Low oil prices could help spark a price war amongst airlines
                                                  • Figure 21: Brent Crude Spot Oil Price (US$ per barrel), May 2012-May 2016
                                                • Cuts in duty for long-haul passengers and youths
                                                  • Figure 22: Air Passenger Duty (APD) rates, April 2012-April 2016*
                                                • New Package Travel Directive
                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                  • Google develops ‘Book on Google’ feature for hotels
                                                    • Google launches Destinations for mobile
                                                      • Figure 23: Google Destinations, March 2016
                                                    • Wherefor’s ‘budget before destination’ booking model
                                                        • Figure 24: Wherefor website screen shot, April 2013
                                                      • Smart TV apps and the booking process
                                                        • Figure 25: Airbnb’s Apple TV app
                                                        • Figure 26: Thomson’s smart TV app, April 2015
                                                      • Virtual reality here to stay
                                                        • YouTube and Facebook branching out with 360º videos
                                                          • Hopper predicts fares and notifies travellers of price drops
                                                              • Figure 27: Price-predicting smartphone app Hopper
                                                            • Hoteliers enable easier communication between guest and hotel
                                                              • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines partners with Facebook Messenger
                                                                • Figure 28: KLM Royal Dutch Airways in the Facebook Messenger app
                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                              • Nearly a quarter do research on a mobile
                                                                • Google remarketing tools are important for targeting holidaymakers
                                                                  • Women are more likely to use customer review sites
                                                                    • Offline bookings most common amongst seniors
                                                                      • Bookings on smartphones increase year on year
                                                                        • Smartphone bookings most popular for European short breaks
                                                                          • Direct bookings with hotels rise year on year…
                                                                            • …as do bookings with online travel agents.
                                                                              • B2C social media messaging can deliver more efficient customer service
                                                                                • Holidaymakers keen on travel planning services based on their data
                                                                                  • Destination marketing to 25-34s via 360º online video streaming
                                                                                  • Holiday Research and Planning

                                                                                    • A third of holidaymakers now research offline
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Research sources used, April 2016^
                                                                                    • Seniors least likely to research their holiday
                                                                                      • Millennials most likely to research offline and use travel agents
                                                                                        • Beacons can help increase smartphone use in the customer journey
                                                                                          • Figure 30: A beacon transmits to smartphones in its vicinity
                                                                                        • Short breakers tend to use mobile devices more for research
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Booking lead time, by length and destination of holidays taken in the last 12 months, April 2016
                                                                                          • An all-in-one Google planning and booking platform could reduce the number of research sources used
                                                                                            • Figure 32: Repertoire of research sources used, April 2016
                                                                                          • Travel agents can offer expertise to travellers venturing further afield
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Research sources used, by different holiday types, April 2016
                                                                                        • Online Research Sources

                                                                                          • Search engine and review sites most popular online research sources
                                                                                              • Figure 34: Online research sources, April 2016
                                                                                            • Customer review sites highlight the importance of peer influentials
                                                                                              • Figure 35: Those who read reviews on a customer review site, by household income, April 2016
                                                                                            • Price comparison sites favoured by affluent consumers
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Price comparison site usage, by household income, April 2016
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Price comparison site usage, by socio-economic group, April 2016
                                                                                            • Political turmoil calls for travel insurance
                                                                                              • Figure 38: Online research sources, by length and destination of holidays taken in the last 12 months, April 2016
                                                                                          • Holiday Booking

                                                                                            • Under a fifth of holidaymakers book offline
                                                                                              • Making it easy to book in-store
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Device used to book most recent holiday, March 2015 and April 2016*
                                                                                              • Mobile bookings on an upward trend
                                                                                                • Mobile bookings much more common for European short breaks
                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Device used to book most recent holiday, by length and destination of holidays taken in the last 12 months, April 2016
                                                                                              • Online Bookings

                                                                                                • Both direct bookings for accommodation providers and online travel agent usage increase
                                                                                                  • Tour operators take a hit following political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East
                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Online booking method, March 2015 and April 2016
                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Online booking method, by length and destination of holidays taken in the last 12 months, April 2016
                                                                                                • Holiday Planning and Booking Attitudes

                                                                                                  • Young women are hungry for new destinations
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Attitudes towards holiday planning and booking, April 2016
                                                                                                  • Travel agents can present themselves as time savers, but many see them as outdated
                                                                                                    • Most people open to receiving customised travel itineraries from brands
                                                                                                    • Holiday Planning and Booking Behaviours

                                                                                                      • Young men most keen on streaming travel videos
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Holiday planning and booking behaviours, April 2016
                                                                                                      • Live streaming video services can add an element of reality and authenticity
                                                                                                        • 360º video gives a more in-depth experience
                                                                                                          • A quarter of 25-34s have booked via a smart TV app
                                                                                                            • Peer-to-peer accommodation usage still relatively low among UK consumers
                                                                                                            • CHAID Analysis

                                                                                                              • Methodology
                                                                                                                • Travel agents can leverage live chat messaging to serve holidaymakers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Target groups based on attitudes towards contacts with travel brands – CHAID – Tree output, April 2016
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Target groups based on attitudes towards contacts with travel brands – CHAID – Table output, April 2016
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Definitions
                                                                                                                      • Forecast Methodology
                                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Best- and worst-case forecast for total holiday volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast for total holiday value*, 2015-20
                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Best- and worst-case forecast for overseas holiday volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast for overseas holiday value*, 2015-20
                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Best- and worst-case forecast for domestic holiday volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Best- and worst-case forecast for domestic holiday value*, 2015-20

                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                      The Holiday Planning and Booking Process - UK - June 2016

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