UK Travel Market Trends
Brexit doesn’t appear to have dampened our appetite for travel. In fact, figures from the ONS show that UK residents made 70.8 million overseas trips in 2016, up 8% on 2015, and research from Mintel found that more of us were planning to take more holidays and more short breaks in 2017 than in 2016.
But as economic uncertainty starts to squeeze our incomes again, UK consumers are adapting their holiday habits in order to preserve the sanctity of the vacation.
UK travellers, already keen deal hunters, are becoming savvier still when it comes to shopping for a holiday. Mintel reports that we are spending more time looking for cheaper deals, as well as turning to all-inclusive holidays to “lock in” holiday spend before we leave.
We are also more cautious about where we go, with world events impacting on our destination choices. More familiar destinations are considered safer in the wake of high profile incidents, with Spain the most visited country by UK residents in 2016, with 12.9 million visits according to the ONS. And whilst we expect to see the Staycation come back, the increase in holidays at home is not expected to be as sharp as after the recession.
The biggest cloud on the horizon is the lack of surety around the UK’s access to the EU’s common aviation market and the Open Skies agreement post-Brexit, with a worst case scenario of all UK flights to Europe being suspended if we fail to reach a deal with the EU.