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Arkenford report

Expenditure on holidays takes a nosedive

Nearly three quarters of the UK population (73%) are reducing spend on their holidays this year, far more than recent research has suggested, says a new report from travel specialist Arkenford. These figures are revealed this week in Travel Navigator, the new national independent UK holiday survey launched by Arkenford, the travel research specialists. Travel Navigator asks c.2000 UK adults every month detailed questions about their actual travel plans and their booking intentions over the next three months…

Nearly three quarters of the UK population (73%) are reducing spend on their holidays this year, far more than recent research has suggested, says a new report from travel specialist Arkenford.

These figures are revealed this week in Travel Navigator, the new national independent UK holiday survey launched by Arkenford, the travel research specialists. Travel Navigator asks c.2000 UK adults every month detailed questions about their actual travel plans and their booking intentions over the next three months.

Travel Navigator also reveals that only 11% of accommodation and travel is now booked through third party web sites (less than the 14 -15% booked via travel agents).

Says Ben Moxon, Director of Arkenford, "These figures are a reflection of the times. People are downsizing and also becoming increasingly independent and this will be food for thought for many operators."

On the up side Travel Navigator reveals that 73% of holiday makers say that the UK looks like a good holiday option this year. Short breaks are set to benefit, with 20% planning to book more short breaks at home than last year.

Travel Navigator provides details of the 1000+ trips at home and overseas that respondents have booked or plan for the next 3 months. It is the most reliable data available because it looks at actual bookings and not at what people report that they have done.

Details include individual destination choice, party size and reasons for holiday choice and accommodation. All results are profiled against the widely used ArkLeisure marketing segmentation that allows marketers to identify the groups that are most interested in their products.

Says Ben Moxon, "Travel Navigator is designed to be working tool for managers in the industry. It provides key data into the booking and travel patterns of your current market segments, those you should be targeting and the chance to move quickly before your competitors do."

"The industry has been waiting a long time for this sort of information’ says Andy Woodward, Chief Executive, Farm Stay UK. ‘Travel Navigator is full of useful pointers to help steer our product development and marketing".


To help the busy marketer, Travel Navigator also provides a full market context, such as a review of current trends taken from International Passenger Survey (IPS), exchange rate moves and current market buzz.

Other headline findings from Travel Navigator:

  • Contrary to popular reporting, forty five percent of those interviewed disagreed that ‘their main holiday is one of the last things they would cut back on’.
  • 13 UK destinations (including Skegness) feature on the top 20 places people have actually booked to go.
  • Over 90% of people have booked their accommodation in advance and over 50% of these bookings are made online and bought directly from the provider.
  • Recommendations from friends are the most important source of information for UK trips and printed brochures for overseas trips.

This first report will act as a benchmark for the subsequent reports so that over time Travel Navigator will build up the most comprehensive picture of holiday taking habits and changing opinions of the UK traveller available. People can buy the report in two ways, either the Headline report, which provides access to twice yearly analytical market reports, or the Insight report which in addition provides monthly updates and access to the online data analysis tool.

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