2021
9
UK Cycling and Walking Holidays Market Report 2021
2021-12-22T03:08:32+00:00
OX1049103
2195
146449
[{"name":"Holidays and Travel","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/holidays-travel"}]
Report
en_GB
“COVID-19 has triggered a rise in cycling and walking, and a desire to avoid crowded places and find solace in nature. It has accelerated consumer interest in wellness experiences which…

UK Cycling and Walking Holidays Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Cycling and Walking Holidays market report identifies consumer attitudes towards cycling and walking holidays, key motivations and barriers, and opportunities for specialist operators in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Cycling and Walking Holidays market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape

Cycling and walking holidays are likely to remain specialist travel sectors, compared with mainstream holiday types. However, walking holidays and cycling holidays have significant potential to grow their customer base, thanks to the impact of the pandemic on the wider domestic and international holiday market.

  • 28% of adults are interested in taking a walking holiday, with 12% in interested in taking a cycling holiday in the future.
  • Participation in walking for leisure in England increased by 18% between May 2020 and May 2021, reaching 24.0 million adults.
  • Cycling for leisure and sport increased by 19%, reaching 7.5 million adults.

The lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a strong platform for future growth in the cycling and walking holidays market. Currently a third of adults are now giving a higher priority to eating healthily, doing exercise, and helping the environment than they were pre-pandemic.

Future Market Trends in Cycling and Walking Holidays 

The long-term prospects for the walking holidays market and the cycling holidays market are strong, but shorter-term threats include the continuing disruption caused by COVID-19 to overseas cycling and walking holidays. The impact on long-haul adventure travel, and the rising cost-of-living crisis looks set to intensify during 2022.

An ageing population which seeks to stay fit and active for longer will offer more opportunities for both walking and cycling brands over the next decade and beyond. The lockdowns over the past two years have helped develop strong demand for holidays, helping both domestic and international travel brands to recover.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Holidays and Travel market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the cycling and walking holiday market.
  • Consumer experience and future interest in cycling and walking holidays.
  • How consumers can be segmented in terms of their preferred activity levels.
  • Key motivations and barriers for cycling and walking holidays.
  • Opportunities for specialist operators, and how cycling and walking holidays can appeal to a wider group of customers.

Covered in this report

Brands: Exodus, Explore Worldwide, Macs Adventure, Inntravel, Ramblers Holidays, G Adventures, KE Adventure Travel, Intrepid, Wilderness Scotland, Saddle Skedaddle, Headwater, Bspoke Tours, Cycling for Softies, HF Holidays, Absolute Escapes, Mickeldore Travel, On Foot Holidays, Hooked on Cycling & Walking, Freewheel Holidays, Suffolk Cycle Breaks, Wheely Wonderful, Contours Holidays, Secret Hills Walking, Celtic Trails, Shepherds Walks Holidays, Walk Yorkshire, Wilderness England.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by John Worthington, a leading analyst in the Holiday sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 has triggered a rise in cycling and walking, and a desire to avoid crowded places and find solace in nature. It has accelerated consumer interest in wellness experiences which enhance both physical fitness and mental wellbeing. Cycling and walking holidays should also benefit from longer-term trends towards more active holiday types, and to low-carbon, sustainable forms of travel.
John Worthington
Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on cycling and walking holidays
                  • Figure 1: Impact of COVID-19 on the cycling and walking holidays market, in the short, medium and long term, 2020-25
                • The market
                  • Cycling and walking staycations were amongst the travel ‘winners’ in 2021…
                    • Trips abroad are expected to stage a stronger revival in 2022…
                      • …Though Omicron threatens to put a spoke in the wheel and a stone in the shoe of recovery
                        • …However, COVID-19 has boosted long-term prospects for cycling and walking holidays
                          • Figure 2: Participation in leisure walking and cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, May 2016/17-May 2020/21
                        • Companies and brands
                          • DIY trips and specialist operators
                            • Domestic adventures, ‘pilgrimage’ tours, urban walking breaks and e-bike holidays
                              • The consumer
                                • Consumers show strong potential interest in cycling and walking holidays
                                  • Figure 3: Future interest in cycling and walking holidays and other holiday types, versus previous experience, 2021
                                • Pent-up demand for overseas tours
                                  • Figure 4: Interest in cycling and walking holidays, domestic versus overseas, 2021
                                • Family and solo adventures have growth potential
                                  • Figure 5: Interest in cycling and walking holidays, by companions, 2021
                                • Soft Pedallers & Strollers
                                  • Moderate Mobiles
                                    • Challenge Riders & Striders
                                      • Figure 6: Preferred activity levels on cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                    • Renaissance of the great outdoors
                                      • Holistic health is a key driver
                                        • Exploration and discovery
                                          • Figure 7: Main reasons for taking cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                        • A growing space for specialists
                                          • Figure 8: Opportunities for cycling and walking holiday operators, 2021
                                        • Broadening the appeal of cycling and walking holidays
                                          • Figure 9: Further opportunities for cycling and walking holiday operators, 2021
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • Growth potential for walking and cycling holidays is greatest amongst women
                                          • Perceived lack of fitness is a key barrier to greater female uptake
                                            • A bridge between everyday walking/cycling and holidays
                                              • Recreating the low-traffic conditions of the pandemic in a holiday setting
                                                • E-bikes can transform the cycling holiday market
                                                  • Creating meaningful journeys
                                                  • Market Performance

                                                    • Impact of COVID-19 on cycling and walking holidays
                                                      • Figure 11: Impact of COVID-19 on the cycling and walking holidays market, in the short, medium and long term, 2020-25
                                                    • Overseas trips have struggled but UK cycling and walking holidays have been boosted by the COVID staycation trend
                                                      • Overseas recovery is expected but renewed border controls could favour domestic market again…
                                                        • …But long-term prospects are good for cycling and walking holidays both in UK and abroad
                                                          • Self-guided trips have the biggest growth potential
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • COVID-19 has got more people on their feet and in the saddle
                                                              • Figure 12: Participation in leisure walking and cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, May 2016/17-May 2020/21
                                                            • Leisure walking participation has reached 25 million adults in England during 2021
                                                              • Figure 13: Participation in leisure walking and cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, by 3-monthly period, May 2016/17-May 2020/21
                                                            • More women walk than men…
                                                              • …But more men cycle than women
                                                                • Figure 14: Participation in leisure walking and cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, by gender, May 2019/20-May 2020/21
                                                              • 55-74s walk the most…
                                                                • …And 35-54s are the biggest cyclists
                                                                  • Figure 15: Age profile of participation in leisure walking and cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, November 2019/20
                                                                • …But under-35s and over-75s show the biggest walking increase since 2015/16…
                                                                  • Figure 16: Participation in leisure walking* by adults aged 16+ in England, by age group, November 2015/16-November 2019/20
                                                                • …And over-55s have seen the biggest rise in cycling
                                                                  • Two key takeaways for cycling and walking holiday brands
                                                                    • Figure 17: Participation in leisure cycling* by adults aged 16+ in England, by age group, November 2016/17- November 2019/20
                                                                  • The COVID cycling kids
                                                                    • Figure 18: Leisure cycling participation* in England among children aged 15-16, autumn 2018-summer 2020
                                                                  • ‘Wait-and-see’ attitude to holiday booking is likely to increase due to Omicron
                                                                    • Figure 19: Holiday booking and intentions, 2019-21
                                                                  • Outdoor-focused UK holidays have fared the best in 2020 and (especially) 2021
                                                                    • Pent-up demand for travel abroad but full recovery may be protracted
                                                                      • Figure 20: Domestic and overseas holidays volume and forecast, 2016-26
                                                                    • The UK economy is expected to continue on a path to recovery in 2022…
                                                                      • …But the longer-term COVID/Brexit impact is likely to be significant…
                                                                        • …And the rising cost of living could slow the pace of holiday recovery in the next 12 months
                                                                          • Figure 21: Concerns about impact of price rise/shortages, 2021
                                                                        • COVID savings could provide a holiday fund for some consumers
                                                                          • A third of adults have adopted healthier and green priorities during the pandemic
                                                                            • Figure 22: Change in priorities during COVID-19, 2021
                                                                          • Crowd avoidance could be a long-term legacy of COVID
                                                                            • Figure 23: Attitudes towards socialising following the COVID-19 outbreak, 2021
                                                                          • COVID will increase health and wellbeing as holiday drivers
                                                                            • An ageing population is retaining a ‘younger’ mind-set
                                                                              • Figure 24: Long-term projections in the age structure of the UK population, 2020-40
                                                                          • Cycling and Walking Holiday Operators

                                                                            • DIY sources
                                                                              • Specialist operators
                                                                                • Typical products
                                                                                  • Larger companies involved in the market
                                                                                    • Adventure travel brands
                                                                                      • Other specialists
                                                                                        • Bespoke services
                                                                                          • Figure 25: Selected UK companies offering cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                        • Adventure travel brands have expanded UK cycling & walking trips
                                                                                          • Walk (and ride) on the wild side
                                                                                            • New European trips are starting to come on-stream
                                                                                              • All-female challenge
                                                                                                • Pilgrim’s progress
                                                                                                  • Urban walking holidays
                                                                                                    • Rise of the e-bike holiday
                                                                                                    • Experience and Interest in Cycling and Walking Holidays

                                                                                                      • Crossover between cycling and walking holidays
                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Previous experience of cycling and walking holidays compared to other holiday types, 2021
                                                                                                      • There is strong potential to grow the cycling and walking holiday base
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Future interest in cycling and walking holidays and other holiday types, versus previous experience, 2021
                                                                                                      • Women and under-35s show especially good growth potential for walking holidays
                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Future interest in walking holidays, versus previous experience, by gender and age, 2021
                                                                                                      • Female interest in cycling holidays is two and a half times greater than past experience…
                                                                                                        • …and interest amongst over-55s is double the level of past experience
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Future interest in cycling holidays, versus previous experience, by gender and age, 2021
                                                                                                      • Cycling and Walking Holiday Destinations

                                                                                                        • Cycling and walking holidays offer a gateway to domestic discovery
                                                                                                          • Under-35s are the most interested in long-haul adventures
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Interest in cycling and walking holidays, domestic versus overseas, 2021
                                                                                                        • Cycling and Walking Holiday Companions

                                                                                                          • COVID-19 has triggered new interest in active family holidays
                                                                                                            • Solo adventures
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Interest in cycling and walking holidays, by companions, 2021
                                                                                                          • Preferred Level of Activity on Cycling and Walking Holidays

                                                                                                              • Soft Pedallers & Strollers
                                                                                                                • Moderate Mobiles
                                                                                                                  • Challenge Riders & Striders
                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Preferred activity levels on cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Preferred activity levels on cycling versus walking holidays, 2021
                                                                                                                  • Men are twice as likely as women to be Challenge Riders & Striders
                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Preferred activity levels on cycling and walking holidays, by gender, 2021
                                                                                                                  • Overseas cyclists and walkers prefer higher levels of activity
                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Preferred activity levels on cycling and walking holidays, by destination interested in visiting, 2021
                                                                                                                  • Solo travellers seek the biggest challenges
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Preferred activity levels on cycling and walking holidays, by companions, 2021
                                                                                                                • Motivations for Cycling and Walking Holidays

                                                                                                                  • Outdoor activity has acquired new value during the pandemic
                                                                                                                    • Mental wellbeing is seen as important as physical health
                                                                                                                      • Authentic journeys
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Main reasons for taking cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                                                                                                      • Women especially are seeking relief from stress
                                                                                                                        • Brands can help customers achieve personal goals
                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Main reasons for taking cycling and walking holidays, by gender, 2021
                                                                                                                        • Fitness is the key motivation for over-55s
                                                                                                                          • Young adventurers
                                                                                                                            • Low-carbon holidays
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Main reasons for taking cycling and walking holidays, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                          • Barriers to Cycling and Walking Holidays

                                                                                                                            • Concern over fitness is the biggest barrier to even greater growth
                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Barriers to taking cycling and walking holidays, 2021
                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Agreement with statement ‘I don’t think I’d be fit enough’, 2021
                                                                                                                            • Entry-level products can attract hesitant cyclists and walkers
                                                                                                                              • E-bikes are the great equaliser
                                                                                                                                • Group holidays can appeal to solitary cyclists and walkers
                                                                                                                                • Opportunities for Providers

                                                                                                                                  • Good opportunities for specialist companies
                                                                                                                                    • There is scope for bespoke services in the space between DIY and full package
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Opportunities for cycling and walking holiday operators, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Over-55s are the most willing to pay for someone to arrange accommodation and luggage transfer
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 43: Willingness to pay a company to arrange accommodation and luggage transfer, by age, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • Over one in four cycling holiday customers want to hire an e-bike…
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Willingness to pay a company to arrange bike and walking equipment hire, 2021
                                                                                                                                    • …But e-bikes need stronger promotion if they are to attract new customer groups
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Willingness to pay a company to arrange e-bike hire, by gender and age, 2021
                                                                                                                                  • Other Preferences and Opportunities

                                                                                                                                    • A well-earned rest
                                                                                                                                      • Slow travel flavours and themes
                                                                                                                                        • ‘Cycling/walking-plus’ holidays
                                                                                                                                          • Different strokes for different folks
                                                                                                                                            • Charity challenge
                                                                                                                                              • Canine companions
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Further opportunities for cycling and walking holiday operators, 2021
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology

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