General election prompts change in holiday plans, says poll

Almost a third of British holidaymakers have changed their plans due to the general election while 15% have planned trips around the Euros and the Olympics, according to a Travel Counsellors poll.

Despite this, the research also showed 85% of people would spend as much or more on travel in the next year as they did in the last year and indicated travel remained Brits’ top spending priority over the next year ahead of other discretionary categories such as fashion, eating out, home and garden renovations.

The travel agency firm surveyed 2,000 consumers after prime minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to hold a snap general election on July 4. The research was conducted by Censuswide of consumers aged over 16 between June 20 and June 21, 2024.

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Of those surveyed, 16% said they had altered their holiday plans to be in the UK at the time of the general election so they could vote in person.

A further 14% of Brits said they had changed their plans to be around in the build-up and at the time of the election, given its importance for the UK.

Another 15% of Brits told the survey they had planned their summer holidays around this summer’s major sporting events, namely the Uefa European Football Championships and the Olympics. This has also been backed up by Travel Counsellors’ own booking data, with more than double the number of bookings for Germany, which is hosting the Euros, in June.

Steve Byrne, chief executive, Travel Counsellors, said: “Demand for summer holidays and travel remains exceptionally strong, with our research indicating it remains the top spending priority for consumers, albeit this year a significant number of people are making plans around key events such as the Euros, the Olympics and the general election.

“At Travel Counsellors, we have seen very strong booking trends and consumer demand during the first half of the year, which underscores the enduring and growing importance of holidays in providing a much-needed escape and opportunity for relaxation.”

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