Travel industry news

16 Sep 2016

BY Jennifer Morris


‘Trusted brands’ key after EU vote

Research from Sandals finds that concerns over Brexit make clients more keen to go for established brands.

Brexit Databox

Sandals' research shows Brexit concerns make consumers plump for established brands

Travelling with a “trusted brand” has become more important to consumers following the vote to leave the EU.

Just under half of the 2,000 UK holidaymakers surveyed by Sandals last month (45.7%) said they would be less concerned about going away post-referendum if they knew that they were travelling with a “well-trusted brand”.

Millennials – classed as aged 25-34 – were most likely to think seriously about booking with a trusted brand (48.5%) compared with the 55-plus age group (29.1%).

Despite initial concerns over the demand for holidays after the outcome of the referendum on June 23, 81% of respondents said they did not avoid booking a holiday until they knew the result.

The survey also found that the main worries people had following the vote were money based, with more than a third stating that concerns over exchange rates would make them less likely to travel, and 79% claiming that value for money was a major factor when booking a holiday.

Holidaymakers chose all-inclusive as their preferred board basis (34.7%), with half-board the option they would be least likely to choose were they to book a holiday now (18.4%). Those with children were more likely to book an all-inclusive (44%) over half-board (13.9%).

Millennials were more likely than any other age group to book an all-inclusive holiday (38.5%).

A roundtable discussion – also held by Sandals last month – with Advantage Travel Partnership, Travel Club Elite, Brilliant Travel, Co-operative PTA and Dress in Love in attendance, found that customers want their money to go further.

Gillian Ashwood, from Brilliant Travel in Scotland, said: “Couples certainly still want to go on holiday and get married overseas, but they are more cautious on how much they spend and want more for their money.”

Last-minute bookings were also cited as being on the rise.

Deana Manser, from Travel Club Elite, said: “I am seeing a lot of customers coming to me asking for holidays for next week, in the peak of summer, which is a struggle.”

Spending limits

Sandals’ research shows British holidaymakers are prepared to spend on average £1,072pp for a long-haul holiday, with just under a quarter saying they would spend between £1,001 and £2,000pp.

The survey also found that men are prepared to spend on average £64 more than women on a holiday and those with children £70 less.

“Multi-generational holidays are becoming increasingly popular, with grandparents footing the bill for the whole extended family,” added John Sullivan, head of commercial at Advantage Travel Partnership.

Britons’ “fear” in-destination is largely attributed to terrorism rather than theft – more than 45% worry that the country they are travelling to may become unsafe. The figure was 49% for those with children.

Food quality and variety were deemed much more important to people surveyed aged over 45 (37.4%), whereas location was most important for those aged 55-65 (89.6%). Those aged 25-44 cared less about location, citing money-related factors as their priority.

Europe still comes out on top for people’s booking choices for 2016 and 2017 travel (57.3%), however there was an increase in Caribbean (5.2%) and America bookings (16.8%) year-on-year.

Travel agents booking holidays direct with customers have seen similar trends, with many stating that Brexit hadn’t impacted their bookings.

Homeworker Michele Martin from Co-operative PTA said: “Brexit had no effect at all on my business.”

Agents also reported that long-haul and luxury travel are in demand as much as ever.

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