Free Leisure - UK - October 2016
“A long period of economic downturn, slow wage recovery and ongoing uncertainty over recent years has triggered a shift in attitudes towards leisure spending. While many consumers have reduced their out-of-home leisure spending in favour of cheaper forms of home entertainment, free out-of-home leisure has also become a deliberate money-saving choice for consumers, and paid-for leisure choices have become more selective and deal-oriented.”
– John Worthington, Senior Analyst
This report discusses the following key topics:
- Health and wellness is a key area for potential brand intervention in free leisure
- Local authority cutbacks and funding crises are likely to generate increasing commercial opportunities in free leisure public spaces
- ‘Freemium’ leisure and ‘P2P’ could offer new business models of leisure consumption
Despite (or perhaps because of) the growth of the paid-for out-of-home leisure industry, many people still place a high value on freely available leisure and the overall balance of activity for most consumers is oriented towards the free end of the spectrum. Saving money is a key motivator and many people treasure access to ‘brand-free’ spaces and experiences. This presents stiff competition for leisure operators especially in times of economic uncertainty. That said, there are significant business opportunities in ‘free leisure’ such as secondary spend and sponsored events, while local authority spending cuts are necessitating a more commercial approach to revenue generation in areas like free cultural attractions and parks.
This Report covers ‘free leisure’ activities outside of the home. These are activities that are free to take part in (eg going for a country walk, running/jogging, free events, free-to-enter visitor attractions etc). Such activities are considered ‘free’ even if participants spend money on items such as food and drink, travel or sporting equipment etc. The Report excludes all in-home leisure activities.
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