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Holiday Planning and Booking Process - UK - May 2019

Covered in this report

This report examines the behaviours and attitudes of UK (United Kingdom) adults concerning how they research and book domestic and overseas holidays. A holiday is defined as including at least one overnight stay. The business travel and VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) markets are not included in this report.

For the purposes of this report, Mintel asked a number of questions to UK adults about the ‘main holiday’ they had taken in the last 12 months. This was defined as the holiday on which they had spent the most in terms of travel and accommodation. Mintel has categorised the following types of holidays:

Package holiday: a package holiday is considered to be a holiday in which a return fare and accommodation are purchased from one provider for a single price. Other elements, such as meals or excursions, are not essential to the definition of an inclusive tour. This definition is in conjunction with the IPS (International Passenger Survey).

Independent holiday: the traveller organises and books transport and accommodation from separate sources, or books with the same retailer but more than 24 hours apart.

Linked travel arrangements: An example of a linked travel arrangement is when someone purchases a flight on an airline’s website and subsequently clicks on a link that redirects them to a separate accommodation site. If the customer books accommodation either immediately or within 24 hours, without their details being transferred, then this is classed as a linked travel arrangement. Since 1 July, 2018 these arrangements have offered financial protection, although at a lower level than package holidays.

“Consumers are demanding more choice and flexibility, but are at the same time looking for easier ways to make their decisions. As a result, brands will have to prioritise enriching search criteria and personalising their online content to make it easier for travellers to plan and book their ideal holiday.”

- Marloes de Vries, Travel Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Voice search: travel brands should get ready to interact with travellers in a new way
  • Ease of booking a top priority

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Volume of domestic holidays expected to remain flat in 2019
              • Figure 1: Forecast volume of domestic holidays* taken by British residents (number of trips), 2013-23
            • Volume of overseas holidays expected to decline slightly in 2019
              • Figure 2: Forecast volume of overseas holidays taken by UK residents (number of trips), 2013-23
            • Voice recognition to become part of the holiday booking process
              • Companies and brands
                • Online travel agents On the Beach and We Love Holidays are now in top five ATOL holders
                  • Roughly a quarter of consumers used TripAdvisor and Booking.com recently
                    • CultureTrip helps travellers to find the ideal destination by focussing on experiences
                      • Trivago acquires start-up TripHappy to show details on neighbourhoods
                        • Carrier re-opens its luxury travel boutique reflecting a new in-shop experience
                          • icelolly.com embraces travel agents on its aggregator platform
                            • Case study: start-up Xarista enters the market to deliver personalised website experiences
                              • The consumer
                                • Many travellers start researching their trip one to four months before booking
                                  • Figure 3: Time between the start of the search and booking main holiday, package vs independent, February 2019
                                • Package holidays are booked longer in advance
                                  • Figure 4: Time between booking and departing for main holiday, package vs independent, February 2019
                                • Short breaks are booked more on impulse
                                  • Online bookings on a laptop/desktop computer still dominate the market
                                    • Figure 5: How main holiday was booked, February 2019
                                  • Younger generation keen on using smartphones when booking their main holiday
                                    • Price, ease of booking, and previous experience key in holiday planning and booking process
                                      • Figure 6: Main reasons for choosing travel company, package vs independent, February 2019
                                    • 61% of holidaymakers had not booked their main holiday in 2019
                                      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards planning and booking holidays, February 2019
                                    • What we think
                                    • Issues and Insights

                                      • Voice search: travel brands should get ready to interact with travellers in a new way
                                        • The facts
                                          • The implications
                                            • Ease of booking a top priority
                                              • The facts
                                                • The implications
                                                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Volume of domestic holidays expected to remain flat in 2019
                                                    • Volume of overseas holidays expected to decline slightly in 2019
                                                      • Increased marketing activity expected due to Brexit delay
                                                        • Increased ownership of voice-controlled speakers
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast – Domestic Holidays

                                                          • Volume of domestic holidays decreased in 2018
                                                            • Figure 8: Forecast volume and value* of domestic holidays taken by British residents, 2013-23
                                                          • Volume of domestic holidays expected to remain flat in 2019
                                                            • Figure 9: Forecast volume of domestic holidays* taken by British residents (number of trips), 2013-23
                                                            • Figure 10: Forecast value of domestic holidays* taken by British residents, 2013-23
                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                          • Market Size and Forecast – Overseas Holidays

                                                            • Volume of overseas holidays expected to decline slightly in 2019
                                                              • Figure 11: Forecast volume and value* of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                            • Popularity of lower-cost destinations puts spending under pressure
                                                              • Figure 12: Forecast volume of overseas holidays taken by UK residents (number of trips), 2013-23
                                                              • Figure 13: Forecast value of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Increased marketing activity expected due to Brexit delay
                                                                • Demand for holidays is still there, but consumers are cautious
                                                                  • Figure 14: Changes in spending habits in the last 12 months, January 2019
                                                                • Long-haul lower-cost destinations remain appealing
                                                                  • Figure 15: Pound versus euro and US Dollar, 20 May 2016-8 April 2019
                                                                • Travel agents feel the decline of the high street
                                                                  • Increased ownership of voice-controlled speakers
                                                                    • Figure 16: Ownership of technology products, December 2017 and January 2019
                                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Online travel agents On the Beach and We Love Holidays are now in top five ATOL holders
                                                                    • CultureTrip helps travellers to find the ideal destination by focussing on experiences
                                                                      • Trivago acquires start-up TripHappy to show details on neighbourhoods
                                                                        • Carrier re-opens its luxury travel boutique reflecting a new in-shop experience
                                                                          • icelolly.com embraces travel agents on its aggregator platform
                                                                            • Case study: start-up Xarista enters the market to deliver personalised website experiences
                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                              • Online travel agents On the Beach and We Love Holidays are now in top five ATOL holders
                                                                                • Figure 17: Passengers licensed under ATOL protection, by top 10 ATOL holders, 2015-19*
                                                                              • Roughly a quarter of consumers used TripAdvisor and Booking.com recently
                                                                                • Figure 18: Usage of selected brands, April 2019
                                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                              • Flexibility to help travellers find the best deals
                                                                                • KAYAK mixes and matches flights and hotels to find the cheapest deals
                                                                                  • Expedia gives the option to add a hotel for a discounted price at a later stage
                                                                                    • Travel brands are easing up the search and booking process
                                                                                      • CultureTrip helps travellers to find the ideal destination by focussing on experiences
                                                                                        • Booking.com enables small and medium-sized properties to generate direct bookings
                                                                                          • Search criteria and search results are getting richer
                                                                                            • KAYAK partners with Quicket.io to show in-flight services
                                                                                              • Trivago acquires start-up TripHappy to show details on neighbourhoods
                                                                                                • Travel agents are strengthening their position in the holiday search and booking process
                                                                                                  • Carrier re-opens its luxury travel boutique reflecting a new in-shop experience
                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Carrier’s luxury travel boutique in Alderley Edge, Cheshire
                                                                                                  • icelolly.com embraces travel agents on its aggregator platform
                                                                                                    • New technologies to enrich online service
                                                                                                      • Travellers can book with Expedia by using their voice
                                                                                                        • Scanning feature allows travellers to check luggage size via easyJet’s app
                                                                                                          • Figure 20: easyJet’s scanning feature to check luggage sizes
                                                                                                      • Brand Research

                                                                                                          • Brand map
                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Key metrics for selected brands, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Brand attitudes: TripAdvisor seen as an innovative brand
                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Attitudes, by brand, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Brand personality: Virgin Holidays is more likely to be considered exclusive
                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Brand personality – Macro image, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Jet2holidays most closely associated with basic
                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Brand personality – Micro image, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Brand analysis
                                                                                                            • High usage TripAdvisor among wealthy consumers
                                                                                                              • Figure 26: User profile of TripAdvisor, April 2019
                                                                                                            • Booking.com offers good value
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: User profile of Booking.com, April 2019
                                                                                                            • A relatively large share of over-55s choose TUI
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: User profile of TUI, April 2019
                                                                                                            • Many travellers had an excellent experience with Jet2holidays
                                                                                                              • Figure 29: User profile of Jet2holidays, April 2019
                                                                                                            • Virgin Holidays; stylish and special
                                                                                                              • Figure 30: User profile of Virgin Holidays, April 2019
                                                                                                            • Thomas Cook still challenged to increase experience rates and recommendation levels
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: User profile of Thomas Cook, April 2019
                                                                                                          • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Xarista

                                                                                                            • Company overview
                                                                                                              • What is it?
                                                                                                                • Founded
                                                                                                                  • Founders Story
                                                                                                                    • Mintel analyst view
                                                                                                                      • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                                        • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                                          • Why it could fail
                                                                                                                            • The verdict
                                                                                                                              • Product information
                                                                                                                                • The brand’s view
                                                                                                                                  • Milestones
                                                                                                                                    • Target audience
                                                                                                                                      • Looking to the future
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                        • Many travellers start researching their trip one to four months before booking
                                                                                                                                          • Short breaks are booked more on impulse
                                                                                                                                            • Package holidays are booked longer in advance
                                                                                                                                              • Online bookings on a laptop/desktop computer still dominate the market
                                                                                                                                                • Price, ease of booking, and previous experience key in holiday planning and booking process
                                                                                                                                                  • Loyal holidaymakers are more likely to have booked their main holiday
                                                                                                                                                  • Look to Book Times

                                                                                                                                                      • Many travellers start researching their trip one to four months before booking
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Time between the start of the search and booking main holiday, package vs independent, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Images/videos posted by Airbnb between 17-24 March 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Beach resort holidays among the holiday types with the longest booking lead times
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Time between the start of the search and booking main holiday, by types of holiday, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Rise in short breaks will lead to more impulsive behaviour
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Time between the start of the transport search and booking main holiday, by duration, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Time between the start of the accommodation search and booking main holiday, by duration, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Book to Departure Times

                                                                                                                                                      • Package holidays are booked longer in advance
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Time between booking and departing for main holiday, package vs independent, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • City breaks are booked close to departure
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Time between booking and departing for main holiday, by types of holiday, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Last-minute deal hunting popular among Millennials
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Time between booking transport and departing for main holiday, by duration, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Time between booking accommodation and departing for main holiday, by duration, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Holiday Booking Channels

                                                                                                                                                      • Online bookings on a laptop/desktop computer still dominate the market
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: How main holiday was booked, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Younger generation keen on using smartphones when booking their main holiday
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: How main holiday was booked, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Group holiday/escorted tours and sea/river cruises most likely to be booked in person
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: How main holiday was booked, by types of holiday, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Almost a fifth booked their package holiday in-store
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: How main holiday was booked, package vs independent, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Booking Decision Influencers

                                                                                                                                                      • Price, ease of booking, and previous experience key in holiday planning and booking process
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Main reasons for choosing travel company, package vs independent, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Price first priority for travellers who book transport independently
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Main reasons for choosing travel company for transport, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Brand less important to travellers who book accommodation independently
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Main reasons for choosing travel company for accommodation, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Package holiday bookings are less price-driven compared to the independent segment
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Main reasons for choosing travel company for package holiday, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Environmental policy more important to the younger generation when booking holidays
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Main reasons for choosing travel company, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Holiday Planning and Booking

                                                                                                                                                      • 61% of holidaymakers had not booked their main holiday in 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes towards planning and booking holidays, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Families living in urban areas more likely to be cautious about booking holidays
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Uncertainties caused by Brexit – CHAID analysis, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                      • Loyal holidaymakers are more likely to have booked their main holiday
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes towards planning and booking holidays, by level of loyalty, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                        • Definitions
                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                              • CHAID methodology
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Holiday Planning and Booking Process – CHAID – Table output, February 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                              • Volume forecast for total holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Forecast volume of total holidays (domestic* and overseas) taken by UK residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Value forecast for total holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Forecast value* of total holidays (domestic** and overseas) taken by UK residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Volume forecast for domestic holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Forecast volume of domestic holidays* taken by British residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Value forecast for domestic holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Forecast value of domestic holidays* taken by British residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Volume forecast for overseas holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Forecast volume of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Value forecast for overseas holidays
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Forecast value* of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2018-23
                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                              Holiday Planning and Booking Process - UK - May 2019

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