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UK Holiday Planning and Booking Process market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Holiday Planning and Booking Process market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

This Report examines the behaviours and attitudes of UK adults concerning how they research and book leisure holidays, both in the UK and abroad. A holiday is defined as including at least one overnight stay. The business travel and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) markets are not included in this Report.

An adult, for the purposes of Mintel’s research, is anyone aged 16 or over.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Worthington, a leading analyst in the Travel sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

There are growing opportunities for brands around convenience and capturing the ‘full traveller journey’. Consumers require tools that save them research time and cut through the complexity of the online world. They seek trusted one-stop shops, online and offline, where they can make all their arrangements quickly and easily. John Worthington
Senior Travel Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • Holidays achieve record high despite climate of uncertainty
            • Figure 1: Volume forecast of domestic holiday bookings, 2012-22
            • Figure 2: Volume forecast of overseas holiday bookings, 2012-22
          • OTAs take on the big three in package holiday market
            • Figure 3: Passengers licensed under ATOL protection, by top 10 ATOL holders, April 2018
          • Booking.com dominates OTA/aggregator sector overall
            • Figure 4: Travel comparison websites/apps used to book holidays online in the last 12 months, April 2018
          • Cook remains leading travel retailer despite closures
            • Figure 5: Use of travel agent shops for holiday booking, September 2017
          • Consumer demand for holidays remains buoyant
            • Figure 6: Holiday Taking in the past 12 months, March 2017 versus April 2018
          • A third of holidays booked 4-8 weeks before travel
            • Figure 7: When last holiday was booked, April 2018
          • Mobile takes off
            • Figure 8: How last holiday was booked, March 2015- April 2018
          • Rise in online tour operator bookings
            • Figure 9: Online booking channels used, April 2018
          • Cost-cutting under-45s
            • Figure 10: Attitudes towards managing the cost of holidays, April 2018
          • The Instagrammable holiday
            • Figure 11: Further attitudes towards planning and booking holidays, April 2018
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

            • Mobile booking reaches a tipping point amongst younger travellers
              • The facts
                • The implications
                  • Time to charge?
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • TV & film opportunities
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                              • Holidays reached record levels in 2017
                                • Brexit uncertainty could impact on market growth
                                  • Consumers still spending but more value-conscious
                                    • Holidays still a high priority
                                      • Holidaymakers looking for destinations where pound will go further
                                        • Oil price rises not yet affecting fares
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Short break boom lifts domestic tourism to record level
                                            • Figure 12: Volume and value* of domestic holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                          • Overseas holidays reach new high
                                            • Figure 13: Volume and value* of overseas holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                          • Forecast
                                              • Figure 14: Volume forecast of domestic holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                              • Figure 15: Value* forecast of domestic holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                              • Figure 16: Volume forecast of overseas holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                              • Figure 17: Value* forecast of overseas holiday bookings, 2012-22
                                          • Market Background

                                            • Consumers cautious but still spending
                                              • Figure 18: UK average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses)* vs CPI inflation, percentage change year-on-year, January 2014-March 2018
                                              • Figure 19: The financial well-being index*, January 2015-February 2018
                                              • Figure 20: The financial confidence index*, January 2015-February 2018
                                            • Travel remains a high priority
                                              • Figure 21: Holiday taking & holiday planning, January 2015-February 2018
                                            • Fall in pound has not stopped people travelling abroad
                                                • Figure 22: Spot exchange rate, pound sterling vs euro and US dollar, June 2016-April 2018
                                              • Rising oil prices could mean higher fares – but not yet
                                                • Figure 23: Average annual European Brent Crude oil prices 2013-2017, and average monthly PRICES JANUARY- April 2018
                                            • Companies and Products – What You Need to Know

                                              • 59% of TUI holidays sold online
                                                • Jet2holidays focussing on 3rd party stores as well as online
                                                  • Thomas Cook reports surge in mobile booking
                                                    • Booking.com accounts for half of OTA/aggregator trips
                                                      • Thomas Cook is market leader in travel shop retail
                                                        • Apps, bots and payment tools
                                                        • Market Share

                                                          • Jet2holidays disrupts TUI/Thomas Cook dominance
                                                              • Figure 24: Passengers licensed under ATOL protection, by top 10 ATOL holders, 2012-18
                                                            • Booking.com used by over half of OTA bookers
                                                                • Figure 25: Travel comparison websites/apps used to book holidays online in the last 12 months, April 2018
                                                              • Travel shops continue to decline
                                                                • New travel and retail partnerships
                                                                  • Figure 26: Use of travel agent shops for holiday booking, September 2017
                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                • Initiatives to help manage costs
                                                                  • Apps begin to take off
                                                                    • Rise of the bot
                                                                      • Harnessing the power of influentials
                                                                        • Culture Trip launches OTA
                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • European trips and short breaks are up
                                                                            • Most popular booking window is 1-2 months before travel
                                                                              • Last minute bookers and long-term planners
                                                                                • Online smartphone bookings have taken off in past 12 months
                                                                                  • Offline booking has also risen
                                                                                    • OTAs retain leading market share
                                                                                      • Helping the ‘holiday hassled’
                                                                                        • Power of the screen
                                                                                        • Holiday Taking

                                                                                          • Growth in short-haul and short breaks in past 12 months
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Holiday Taking in the past 12 months, April 2018 and March 2017
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Last holiday taken, April 2018
                                                                                          • City breaks and beach are most popular choices
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Type of last holiday taken, April 2018
                                                                                        • Holiday Booking Times

                                                                                          • A thirds of holidays booked 1-2 months before travel…
                                                                                            • …but almost a fifth book less than a month in advance
                                                                                              • Tempting early bookers with incentives
                                                                                                • Figure 30: When last holiday was booked, April 2018
                                                                                            • Holiday Booking Channels

                                                                                              • Online booking has flattened but mobile shift has accelerated
                                                                                                • Mobile surge driven by Millennials
                                                                                                  • Smartphone bookers more likely to take short breaks
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: How last holiday was booked, March 2015- April 2018
                                                                                                  • Counter-trend towards offline booking
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Type of holiday booked by booking channel, April 2018
                                                                                                  • OTA share remains steady but tour operators see sharp rise in online bookings
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Online booking channels used, April 2018
                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Online booking channels used by holiday taken, April 2018
                                                                                                    • Almost half of city breakers booking online use OTAs
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Online booking channels used by holiday type, April 2018
                                                                                                      • Rise in online tour operator booking amongst most affluent groups
                                                                                                      • Holiday Planning and Booking – Attitudes & Behaviour

                                                                                                        • A fifth see holiday planning as a hassle
                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Attitudes towards planning holidays, April 2018
                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Attitudes towards planning holidays, by demographics, April 2018
                                                                                                        • Under-45s most likely to adopt cost-saving strategies
                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Attitudes towards managing the cost of holidays, April 2018
                                                                                                          • On screen inspiration
                                                                                                            • Power of the selfie
                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Further attitudes towards planning and booking holidays, April 2018
                                                                                                              • VR & chatbots appeal to youngest generation
                                                                                                                • Well-off, time-pressed travellers would pay for planning and booking
                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                  • Definitions
                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Domestic holidays, volume forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Domestic holidays, value* forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: overseas holidays, volume forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Overseas holidays, value* forecast, 2017-22
                                                                                                                      • Forecast methodology