Holiday Confidence Index of 42 indicates growing stability for holiday market. Over half of consumers plan to holiday abroad in the coming year – 40% have booked. The young (18-24 year-olds) and empty nesters aged 55+ are most positive about holidays. 26% of consumers believe the economy will improve, compared with 13% six months ago.
Research for a new consumer report to be published three times a year – the Holiday Confidence Index – has revealed that consumers are now feeling much less negative about committing to planning trips abroad in the coming 12 months as their confidence about the economy and personal financial circumstances grows.
Not only has the number of people who believe the economy will improve doubled within the space of six months according to the Winter 2013 Holiday Confidence Index from First Rate Exchange Services, but two-in-five surveyed for the tracker report who said they were planning to travel abroad have already booked their first holiday.
Created by First Rate in partnership with the Institute of Travel & Tourism, University of Wolverhampton and YouGov, the Holiday Confidence Index monitors the consumer appetite for overseas holidays. Covering spending plans for September 2013 to August 2014, the online survey of over 5,000 adults aged 18 and over provides information about holiday intentions, holiday frequency and duration.
The findings were used to create a score of 42 for the Winter 2013 Holiday Confidence Index, which is calculated by compiling a composite index of six key elements of intention about overseas holidays.
While this is the same overall confidence rating as in March when a benchmark survey was conducted for comparison purposes, since then there have been positive gains for five of the six individual indices – relating to the number of holidays planned, their duration, their cost and associated spending money. According to First Rate, this points to increasing stability and an improving picture for the next 12 months among those who do intend to travel. The only decline since March – a fall of 1 point to 68 – has been in the Holiday Intention Index, which included a quarter of consumers who said they had decided not to travel overseas in the coming year.
The common denominator across the survey results was that negative intentions about travelling overseas have fallen. More than half of consumers intend to holiday abroad in the coming year and over half of these also intend to take more than one trip abroad. 40% have already booked their first holiday while almost one-in-five (19%) have booked a second one.
More encouragingly still, although 39% of first holidays booked were late getaways for departure by November 2013, one-in-five (20%) were summer bookings for June-August 2014, which suggests a return to planning holidays well ahead. Furthermore, almost one-third of second holidays (31%) had been booked for travel between June and August 2014.??
When it comes to the number of holidays planned, the outlook also looks promising. Fewer than half of the survey respondents (44%) intend to restrict themselves to one holiday abroad in the next year while over one-in-five (22%) propose to take three or more holidays, significantly more than in March (17%). This could be another indication of increasing confidence in the economy, especially as just 14% of those surveyed are planning fewer holidays abroad, compared with 18% in March.
The most positive responses about holiday intentions came from the young (18-24 year-olds) and from older consumers (55+). Almost one-third of the 55+ age group said they are planning more trips abroad and this also applied to 18-24 year-olds, who are significantly more likely to take shorter holidays of either 1-3 or 4-6 nights and more flexible about the type of holidays they will take. Almost half of this group claim to cut spending in other areas to ensure they can fund a trip abroad.
There is caution about holiday expenditure with over half the survey sample planning to restrict spending to the same level as in the previous 12 months. However, the numbers who plan to pay less for their holiday booking and to spend less, either when purchasing travel cash or for spending at the destination, has fallen by between 3-5% since March for each of these three measures.
Around nine-in-ten people have already decided where they will holiday, with the eurozone remaining the most popular destination region – and they also know when that holiday will be taken. Nearly three-quarters identified the internet as their preferred medium for booking a holiday, although consumers who book packages and all-inclusive holidays are more likely to book via a travel agency.
How Holiday Constraints And Attitude Impact On The Index:
- Having time to go on holiday is less of an issue than financing a trip: just over one-in-ten (13%) of those who are NOT planning to holiday abroad in the coming year strongly agreed that they had insufficient time to go on holiday abroad. By contrast, almost three-quarters (74%) cited other financial priorities as the major constraint and 57% felt that going abroad for a holiday is too expensive.
- Going abroad on holiday is important to the lifestyle of almost two-thirds (64%) of those planning trips in the coming year. The overriding priority for the majority is that their trip should be ATOL protected, suggesting an awareness of the issues surrounding holiday security. Almost half (47%) felt strongly about this and overall nearly three-quarters (74%) were concerned about safeguarding their holiday.
- Confidence in the economy plays an important part in shaping attitudes to travel abroad. While the findings of the September survey are relatively mixed, there has been a significant upturn since March in confidence about job security, meeting financial commitments and an improving economy. The percentage of people who believe the economy will improve has doubled from 13% to 26% while those who did not think so has fallen from 52% to 30%.
Alistair Rennie, First Rate Exchange Services Head of Business Decisions, said: “The new Holiday Confidence Index reveals a growing stability for the overseas holiday market. Admittedly, there has been a small fall in the numbers who are definitely planning on taking a holiday abroad, but this is tempered by fewer negative comments about intention compared with six months ago. Given the relative optimism about economic recovery expressed by respondents, there is good reason to be cautiously positive about the outlook for the coming year.”
Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.
She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.