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British Airways Holidays unveils 2024 travel trends influencing UK consumers

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British Airways Holidays has launched its second Travel Trends Report, which takes a deep dive into the latest trends and external factors that are influencing travel behaviour.

British Airways Holidays 2024 Travel Trends Report has lifted the lid on when and where Brits are travelling, what’s inspiring them to book, and even how they want to pay for trips. One of the UK’s leading and most trusted tour operators, also revealed the most searched for travel destinations for 2024, with seven destinations rising in popularity, including Malta, Lanzarote and St Kitts*

Destination Percentage increase in holiday package searches
St Kitts +97%
Jamaica +73%
Malta +58%
Gran Canaria +57%
Tokyo +42%
Lanzarote +31%

Among the report’s key trends for 2024 and 2025 are:

  • ‘Shoulder season’ is the new time to travel: More of us are now looking to start the summer earlier and take breaks outside of the main summer travel peak, and this is expected to grow in popularity in 2024 and 2025. The growth in searches from customers looking to travel in May and June 2024 was double the level for trips in July and August 2024 (compared to the same period in 2023).*
  • TikTok made me travel: 23% of UK consumers use TikTok for holiday inspiration and, of those, almost one in five (18%) said they’d booked a trip as a direct result of viewing content on the platform.**
  • Package savvy: Travellers are increasingly looking for budgeting strategies to enhance the feasibility and enjoyment of their holidays, including alternative ways to pay. The report reveals that 58% of holidaymakers would be interested in paying for a holiday in interest-free instalments, given the opportunity. This option particularly resonates with those aged between 22-44, with 69% of those aged 25-44 expressing an interest. **
  • Destination swaps are becoming increasingly popular: Travellers are increasingly on the lookout for alternatives to more obvious holiday hotspots such as the Maldives and Dubai and opting for “step-sibling” alternatives. 31% of UK consumers said they opt for lesser-known alternative locations – with just 16% saying they prefer to travel to the most popular locations.**
  • Location scouting:78% of travellers have been inspired to visit a location from a movie or TV show, and almost a quarter (24%) of those who have been influenced have gone on to book a trip.**
  • It’s time to take our holidays seriously:42% of working adults have confessed they do not take their full annual leave allocation. Furthermore, a staggering 37% revealed that they have felt stressed about work whilst on holiday. And it’s not just work that UK consumers have got on their mind when they’re on holiday; 37% agree that they struggle to switch off from the day-to-day.***

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays said: “I’ve been fascinated to see the latest external factors influencing how people book their holidays, and how behaviours have modified since our last report. At British Airways Holidays, we’re passionate about taking holidays seriously and we value getting to know our customers’ habits and interests, so we can give them the autonomy to create incredible memories, however they choose to holiday.”

The report was supplemented by analysis of British Airways Holidays data from ba.com, along with a UK consumer survey conducted with YouGov Plc. British Airways Holidays also partnered with industry leading experts to gain insight into the factors affecting the industry. These included respected travel journalists Lucy Thackray, and Richard Mellor, travel influencer Louise Wilshaw (@loulouexplores), and leading voices in the hospitality space, Patricia Page-Champion, Senior Vice President & Global Commercial Director at Hilton, and Shannon Knapp, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Leading Hotels of the World. The insights and findings presented in the report drew on research conducted by Globetrender, the UK’s leading travel trend forecasting agency.

Jenny Southan, editor, founder and CEO of Globetrender and author of the report said: “The two main macro forces governing holiday planning in 2024 are modern culture and money management. We see this in the ‘limelight effect’ that certain locations benefit from after appearing in TV shows and movies, for example; and the rise of ‘finfluencers’ (financial influencers) who are inspiring consumers to adopt savvy spending strategies such as paying in interest-free instalments for trips and booking off-season. Travellers are also becoming more curious, seeking out lesser-known destinations to visit – in some cases this is being propelled by viral TikTok content that sparks interest in a place they have never heard of.”

 

 

*Data is based on holiday package searches on ba.com in the UK from 1 November to 19 March 2024 for 2024 travel dates.
**Figures are from YouGov Plc on behalf of British Airways Holidays. Total sample size was 2674 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22 – 25 March 2024. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
***Figures are from YouGov Plc on behalf of British Airways Holidays. Total sample size was 4193 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 – 22 December 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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