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Covered in this report

The total number of holidays made by UK travellers to the Americas and Caribbean reached four million in 2018, an increase of 5% over the previous year and 22% since 2014. The US is the favourite long-haul destination for UK travellers with 2.2 million trips in 2018, but numbers have remained flat since 2015 and declined in the longer term. Holidays to Canada totalled just over 200,000 in 2018.

Holidays to the Caribbean reached 752,000 in 2018. Trips to the region were sharply impacted by the severe 2017 hurricane season but are now recovering.

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 is scope for greater diversification away from the dominant beach resort, city break and theme park products. Holidays with the biggest future growth potential include tailor-made independent and escorted touring holidays, off the beaten track adventure travel, nature tourism and sea cruises John Worthington
Senior Travel Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Holidays to the Americas & Caribbean up 22% since 2014 but the US segment has been flat
              • Figure 1: Holidays to North America volume forecast, 2014-24
              • Figure 2: Holidays to the Caribbean volume forecast, 2014-24
              • Figure 3: Holidays to Central/South America volume forecast, 2014-24
            • Companies and brands
              • Virgin is the market leader
                • Premium tailor-made tours are a growing product area
                  • Diversification and sustainable tourism
                    • The consumer
                      • Canada & Caribbean have the biggest potential for new visitors
                        • Figure 4: Experience of and interest in visiting long-haul regions, August 2019
                      • New England attracts older Brits
                        • Figure 5: interest in visiting regions in the US on holiday, August 2019
                      • Beach resorts, villas & cruises are the most in-demand Caribbean holidays
                        • Figure 6: Interest in visiting islands in the Caribbean on holiday, August 2019
                      • Brazil is the sleeping giant of South American tourism
                        • Figure 7: Interest in visiting destinations in South/Central America on holiday, August 2019
                      • Barriers to entry
                        • Figure 8: Barriers to a holiday in the Americas & Caribbean, August 2019
                      • Women are most attracted by luxury & multi-centre holidays
                        • Figure 9: Holiday opportunities in the Americas & Caribbean, August 2019
                      • What we think
                      • Issues and Insights

                        • Improving the US brand image
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Going the distance
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • New parents are the most likely to respond to the ‘magic of Disney’
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Spoiled for choice
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • All-inclusives that include the local culture
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Holidays to the Americas and Caribbean up 5% in 2018…
                                                        • …But there has been a long-term decline in US holidays
                                                          • Caribbean recovering from severe 2017 hurricane season
                                                            • Mexico has driven the rapid rise of South/Central America
                                                              • Weak Pound has dampened demand for US but Sterling has fared better elsewhere
                                                                • Long-haul demand weakening
                                                                  • Aviation competition may boost travel to the region
                                                                  • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                    • Four million holidays to Americas & Caribbean
                                                                        • Figure 10: Volume of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 11: Value* of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean, 2014-24
                                                                      • Forecast
                                                                        • Figure 12: Holidays to North America volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 13: Holidays to North America value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 14: Holidays to the Caribbean volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 15: Holidays to the Caribbean value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 16: Holidays to Central/South America volume forecast, 2014-24
                                                                        • Figure 17: Holidays to Central/South America value* forecast, 2014-24
                                                                      • Forecast methodology
                                                                      • Market Segmentation

                                                                        • Holidays to the US led by New York & Orlando
                                                                          • Jamaica, Barbados and Dominican Republic are the most popular Caribbean destinations
                                                                            • Holidays to Mexico have risen 66% since 2014
                                                                              • Brazil and Peru are next most popular South American destinations
                                                                                • Figure 18: Volume of holidays taken to destinations in the Americas & Caribbean, 2014-18
                                                                              • Package tour operators dominate Caribbean & Central/South American holidays
                                                                                • Collapse of Cook leaves a gap in Caribbean market
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Volume of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean in 2018, package versus independently booked
                                                                                • South/Central America has the longest duration holidays
                                                                                  • Figure 20: Volume of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean in 2018, by duration
                                                                                • Caribbean is the broadest all-year-round market
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Volume of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean in 2018, by quarter of travel
                                                                                • The Caribbean has the oldest age profile
                                                                                  • Figure 22: Volume of holidays taken to the Americas & Caribbean in 2018, by age group
                                                                              • Market Background

                                                                                • Consumers cautious as uncertainty continues
                                                                                  • Figure 23: UK average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses)* vs CPI inflation, percentage change year-on-year, January 2017-September 2019
                                                                                • Pound weak against the Dollar but strong against Mexican peso
                                                                                  • Figure 24: Sterling exchange rate versus selected currencies, annual averages, 2014-18, and spot rate 22 October 2019
                                                                                • Long-haul travel volumes have dropped in 2019
                                                                                  • Figure 25: Volume of short-haul and long-haul holidays, 2014-18
                                                                                • Virgin Atlantic increases capacity to US and enters Brazil for the first time
                                                                                  • Norwegian also enters South America with low cost model
                                                                                  • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                    • Mass market is highly competitive
                                                                                      • Virgin Voyages launch in 2020 will target younger cruise clientele
                                                                                        • Premium tailor-made is a growing product area in the Americas & Caribbean
                                                                                          • Regional specialists
                                                                                            • Tourism diversification
                                                                                              • Slow travel
                                                                                                • Sustainable tourism
                                                                                                • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                  • Generalists
                                                                                                    • TUI
                                                                                                      • Virgin Holidays
                                                                                                        • Other long-haul & escorted tour specialists
                                                                                                          • Caribtours
                                                                                                            • Sandals
                                                                                                              • Journey Latin America
                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • Diversifying from beach/theme park holidays
                                                                                                                  • Slow travel in North America
                                                                                                                    • Backpackers and flashpackers in Latin America
                                                                                                                      • Chilean Patagonia shows way ahead for sustainable tourism
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                        • US will remain the most popular destination but the largest new potential lies elsewhere
                                                                                                                          • New York, Florida & West Coast are the most popular US locations
                                                                                                                            • Bahamas is the most aspirational Caribbean destination
                                                                                                                              • Brazilian potential
                                                                                                                                • Nature tourism is a major draw for Canada
                                                                                                                                  • Entry hassles, safety fears and politics seen as key barriers
                                                                                                                                  • Long-haul Holiday Regions Visited

                                                                                                                                    • 4 in 10 adults have visited the US on holiday
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Long-haul regions visited on holiday, August 2019
                                                                                                                                    • Men are more likely to go to the US than women
                                                                                                                                      • High proportion of Londoners holiday in the Caribbean
                                                                                                                                      • Future Interest in Visiting the Americas & Caribbean

                                                                                                                                        • Canada & Caribbean have the biggest potential for new visitors…
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Experience of and interest in visiting long-haul regions, August 2019
                                                                                                                                        • …But the US is still the top priority destination
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Main preference for visiting regions in the americas & caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                      • Future Interest in Visiting North America

                                                                                                                                        • New York, Florida & West Coast are the places people most want to visit in the US
                                                                                                                                          • New England has a strong appeal to over-55s
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Interest in visiting regions in the US on holiday, August 2019
                                                                                                                                          • City breaks are the most popular type of US holiday
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Interest in holiday types in the US, August 2019
                                                                                                                                          • City breaks & touring holidays are the most in-demand Canadian holidays
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Interest in holiday types in Canada, August 2019
                                                                                                                                        • Future Interest in Visiting the Caribbean

                                                                                                                                          • The Bahamas tops the wish-list for Caribbean holidays
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Interest in visiting islands in the Caribbean on holiday, August 2019
                                                                                                                                            • Beach resorts, villas & cruises are the most popular holidays in the Caribbean
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Interest in holiday types in the Caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Future Interest in Visiting Central/South America

                                                                                                                                            • Huge potential for holidays to Brazil
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Interest in visiting destinations in South/Central America on holiday, August 2019
                                                                                                                                            • Consumers show interest in a wide variety of holidays in South America
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Interest in holiday types in South/Central America, August 2019
                                                                                                                                          • Holidays in the Americas & Caribbean – Demographics of Preferred Holiday Types

                                                                                                                                            • Beach/villa holidays appeal most to under-45s
                                                                                                                                              • 33% of over-55s are interested in taking an escorted tour
                                                                                                                                                • Cruises have a broad age appeal
                                                                                                                                                  • Fly-drive holidays have the strongest AB bias
                                                                                                                                                    • Parents with under-5s show the biggest interest in Disney World holidays
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Interest in holiday types in the Americas & Caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • Holidays in the Americas & Caribbean – Attractions and Barriers

                                                                                                                                                    • Cities are the main attraction for holidays to the US
                                                                                                                                                      • Gastro appeal
                                                                                                                                                        • The US is no longer seen as a value-for-money destination
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Attractions of a holiday in the US, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Nature/wildlife is the main Canadian attraction
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Attractions of a holiday in Canada, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Caribbean visitors want more than a beach chill
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Attractions of a holiday in the Caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Cultural immersion is most important for holidays to Central/South America
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Attractions of a holiday in Central/South America, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Leading barriers
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Barriers to a holiday in the Americas & Caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Is there a ‘Trump slump’?
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Holidays in the Americas and the Caribbean – CHAID – Tree output, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                        • Safety fears affect families the most
                                                                                                                                                          • Caribbean advice sought by visitors
                                                                                                                                                          • Holidays in the Americas & Caribbean – Future Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                            • Long-distance adventures appeal to Baby Boomer travellers
                                                                                                                                                              • Half of family travellers want to stay all-inclusive
                                                                                                                                                                • 37% of travellers are cultural explorers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Holiday opportunities in the Americas & Caribbean, August 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • Women are most attracted by Caribbean luxury…
                                                                                                                                                                  • …And by multi-centre holidays
                                                                                                                                                                    • Over-55s are the most likely to use specialist destination companies
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Holidays to North America, volume forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Holidays to North America, value* forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Holidays to the Caribbean, volume forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Holidays to the Caribbean, value* forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Holidays to the Central/South America, volume forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Holidays to the Central/South America, value* forecast, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology

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