More families and older people are driving a bounce back in post-pandemic holiday travel, new research reveals,
A poll of 1,000 people found that more than a third (38%) of consumers are planning to take a foreign holiday this year, up from 30% in 2022.
Families were the most likely group to travel in 2023, with 75% saying they would go on holiday this year.
It also looks to be the year that those aged 55-64 regain their confidence and optimism to travel following the aftermath of Covid-19, according to survey for audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK.
Just 14% of people plan to cut back on short stay trips of 1-4 days over the next three months, and 10% intend to reduce long stay holidays of five days or more.
This is in contrast to other luxuries, such as eating and drinking out, where 40% of consumers are planning to cut back, and takeaways and deliveries (34% cutting back).
When looking at the income of respondents, every income bracket increased their plans to take long or short stay trips overseas this year when compared to 2022.
However, there are clear discrepancies between the plans of high-income households and those on low incomes.
Of those earning £60,000 or more a year, 54% are planning a long stay trip overseas in the next 12 months, a figure which halves to 22% for those earning £20,000 or less annually.
For short stay breaks overseas, 44% of high-income households plan to take a trip in the next 12 months, but just 11% of low-income households.
Ian Bell, partner and head of travel and tourism at RSM UK, said: “It’s clear that there is pent up demand; consumers are itching to get away and escape current doom and gloom after facing numerous Covid-related restrictions over the past couple of years; and not even the cost-of-living crisis is deterring them.
“Travel is at the top of consumers’ priority list, with them preferring to ditch discretionary purchases such as eating out and takeaways in order to enjoy a holiday.
“There’s a great sense of optimism in the sector for 2023. The year has already got off to a promising start, with ‘Sunshine Saturday’ reported to be a huge success for travel companies, as consumers regain their confidence to book ahead.”
He added: “There’s no denying that the cost-of-living crisis will be front and centre of consumers’ minds when deciding to book a holiday, so value for money will be important. In a bid to reduce costs, we’re likely to see consumers cutting the duration or frequency of their holidays, or even opting for a cheaper location where their money goes further.
“All-inclusive trips are likely to be particularly popular as consumers look to spread the cost of the holiday, but ultimately it will be high-end travel operators that luck out in 2023.
“There is, however, a dark cloud to this silver lining for the sector in the form of strikes by border force staff.
“With government claiming public sector pay rises would negatively impact the recovery of inflation, it looks unlikely we’ll see a resolution to this issue anytime soon. If chaos does unfold in UK airports this could very well hinder the success and recovery of the travel sector.”
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