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Short and City Breaks - UK - July 2019

Covered in this report

Short and city breaks refer to overnight trips of one to three nights made for leisure purposes. Short breaks for the purpose of visiting friends and family, business or other purposes are excluded. Data on the size of the domestic market is for Great Britain rather than the United Kingdom (ie Northern Ireland is not included), sourced from GBTS (Great Britain Tourism Survey). Data for the overseas market is for the United Kingdom, sourced from IPS (International Passenger Survey).

“The trend in short breaks is leaning towards high-intensity breaks, built around eye-catching experiences where the experience itself is the central element. Short breaks are an ideal way for tourist boards and travel brands to diversify their product offering and attract people to a wider variety of new holiday types.”

–  John Worthington, Senior Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Alternative bucket-lists
  • Micro-break opportunities
  • Wellness craze
  • Multi-event breaks

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Rise of the ‘mini-staycation’
              • Figure 1: Domestic short break market volume forecast, 2014-24
              • Figure 2: Overseas short break market volume forecast, 2014-24
            • The consumer
              • Two thirds of adults take short UK breaks and one in five takes overseas short breaks
                • Figure 3: Short break taking, UK and overseas, May 2019 versus May 2018
                • Figure 4: Type of short breaks taken, UK versus abroad, May 2019
              • Potential for more packaging
                • Figure 5: Booking methods used for short breaks, UK and abroad, May 2019
              • A break from the family
                • Figure 6: Short break behaviours, May 2019
              • The two key drivers of short break taking are maximising time and money
                • High-intensity trend
                  • Figure 7: Drivers of short break taking, May 2019
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • Alternative bucket-lists
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Micro-break opportunities
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Wellness craze
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Multi-event breaks
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Short breaks fall slightly but remain near record levels
                                            • Local markets are key target for mini-staycations
                                              • Italy, Portugal & Poland are the fastest-growing overseas destinations
                                                • New Eurostar route helps to trigger Tunnel surge
                                                  • City breakers shopping around for value
                                                    • Over-tourism beginning to shape consumer behaviour
                                                      • Climate emergency puts spotlight on air travel emissions
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Short break spending reached a record level in 2018
                                                          • Figure 8: Total short breaks (1-3 nights), by volume and value*, 2014-24
                                                        • Short UK breaks have increased 21% over the past decade
                                                          • Figure 9: Domestic short breaks (1-3 nights), by volume and value, 2014-24
                                                        • Overseas short breaks have surpassed pre-2008 high
                                                          • Figure 10: Overseas short breaks (1-3 nights), by volume and value, 2014-24
                                                        • Forecast
                                                          • Total market
                                                            • Figure 11: Total short break market volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                            • Figure 12: Total short break market value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                          • Domestic market
                                                            • Figure 13: Domestic short break market volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                            • Figure 14: Domestic short break market value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                          • Overseas market
                                                            • Figure 15: Overseas short break market volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                            • Figure 16: Overseas short break market value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                            • South West is most popular region for UK short breaks
                                                              • Figure 17: Number of domestic (1-3 nights) short breaks, by region visited, 2016-18
                                                            • Marketing in-region and to adjoining regions should be top priority
                                                                • Figure 18: Domestic (1-3 nights) short breaks by region visited, by percentage of source market, 2018
                                                              • City breaks lead in England and Scotland, coastal breaks lead in Wales
                                                                • Figure 19: Domestic (1-3 nights) short break volumes by country and type of location, 2018
                                                              • France, Spain & Netherlands are most popular overseas destinations
                                                                • Italy, Portugal & Poland are fastest growing destinations
                                                                  • Figure 20: Top 10 countries for short breaks (1-3 nights) abroad, by volume, 2014-18
                                                                • Tunnel crossings rose 22% in 2018
                                                                  • Figure 21: Number of short breaks (1-3 nights) abroad, by mode of travel, 2014-18
                                                                • Year-round products
                                                                  • Figure 22: Percentage of annual short breaks (1-3 nights) taken by season, UK and abroad, 2018
                                                              • Market Background

                                                                • Consumers are growing jittery but the rising value of wages is helping to cushion confidence
                                                                  • Figure 23: UK average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses)* vs CPI inflation, percentage change year on year, January 2017-May 2019
                                                                • Pound takes another plunge as Brexit anxieties grow
                                                                  • Figure 24: Pound versus euro exchange rate, June 2016-June 2019
                                                                • The rising cost of city breaks
                                                                    • Figure 25: City break costs*, 2016-19
                                                                  • Falling air fares helping to compensate for weak Pound
                                                                    • Figure 26: Average annual European Brent Crude oil prices 2013-18, and average monthly prices, January- June 2019
                                                                  • Rising cost of driving stimulates demand for ‘nearcations’
                                                                    • Figure 27: Petrol costs (unleaded 95 octane), January 2016-May 2019
                                                                  • Sustainability and short breaks – over-tourism
                                                                    • Figure 28: Short break sustainability attitudes, May 2019
                                                                  • Sustainability and short breaks - climate emergency
                                                                    • Airlines under scrutiny as pressure to decarbonise grows
                                                                      • Over half of short breakers want to reduce their environmental impact
                                                                        • Flexitarian flyers?
                                                                          • Domestic challenge
                                                                          • Companies and Brands - What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Sustainable city breaks
                                                                              • VR cities
                                                                                • Mini-gap years
                                                                                  • TV trend
                                                                                    • Black Sea mini-breaks
                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                      • Lower impact city breaks
                                                                                        • Virtual cities
                                                                                          • UK microgapping
                                                                                            • Black Sea mini-breaks
                                                                                              • ‘Set-jetting’ trend continues
                                                                                                • Music for airports
                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                  • Domestic short break-taking has risen five percentage points
                                                                                                    • City breaks dominate both domestic & overseas segments
                                                                                                      • OTA are used to book almost half of short breaks abroad
                                                                                                        • One in three parents under 45 have taken a short break without partner and kids
                                                                                                          • Making leave go further and money-saving are the two key drivers
                                                                                                            • Micro-break opportunity
                                                                                                              • Helping the hassled
                                                                                                              • Short Break Taking

                                                                                                                • Domestic short break taking up five percentage points
                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Short break taking, UK and overseas, May 2019 versus May 2018
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Number of UK short breaks taken, May 2019 versus May 2018
                                                                                                                • Frequent domestic short breakers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Demographic profile of frequent UK short break takers (3+ trips), May 2019
                                                                                                                • Overseas short break taking has fallen, but frequency has risen
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Number of overseas short breaks taken, May 2019 versus May 2018
                                                                                                                • Half of ‘regular overseas breakers’ are under 35
                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Demographic profile of regular overseas short break takers (2+ trips), May 2019
                                                                                                              • Types of Short Break

                                                                                                                • City breaks are most popular domestic product
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Type of UK short breaks taken, May 2019 versus May 2018
                                                                                                                • Countryside breaks can appeal more to urban parents
                                                                                                                  • Under-45s more likely than over-45s to take luxury short breaks
                                                                                                                    • Over half of overseas short breakers take city breaks
                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Type of overseas short breaks taken, May 2019 versus May 2018
                                                                                                                  • Short Break Booking

                                                                                                                    • OTAs are used for half of overseas breaks
                                                                                                                      • Travel trade opportunity for specialised breaks
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Booking methods used for short breaks, UK and abroad, May 2019
                                                                                                                      • Last-minute Londoners
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Short break lead-in booking times, UK and abroad, May 2019
                                                                                                                    • Short Break Behaviours

                                                                                                                      • Me-time breaks
                                                                                                                        • Insta-tourists and anti-Grammers
                                                                                                                          • Gig economy drives last minute deal hunting
                                                                                                                            • The multi-event weekend
                                                                                                                              • Experience planners
                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Short break behaviours, May 2019
                                                                                                                            • Short Break Attitudes & Opportunities

                                                                                                                              • Saving money and ‘making my leave go further’ are key motivations for short breaks
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Drivers of short break taking, May 2019
                                                                                                                              • City collectors
                                                                                                                                • Micro-breaks
                                                                                                                                  • Foodie breaks
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Future short break opportunities, May 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Complete wellness breaks
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Short and city breaks – CHAID – Tree output, May 2019
                                                                                                                                  • Hyperactives & experimentalists
                                                                                                                                    • Pioneers
                                                                                                                                      • De-hassling the city break
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Short break attitudes, May 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                      • Definitions
                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                          • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                            • CHAID methodology
                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                              • Domestic
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Domestic short breaks (1-3 nights) taken by UK residents, volume forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Domestic short breaks (1-3 nights) taken by UK residents, value* forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                              • Overseas
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Overseas short breaks (1-3 nights) taken by UK residents, volume forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Overseas short breaks (1-3 nights) taken by UK residents, value* forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                              Short and City Breaks - UK - July 2019

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