Despite the Dark Clouds, Brits Still Have Holiday Hopes: It would be eminently reasonable for any sociologically conscious observer of a people to find it reasonable for the latter, in the current state in which the UK finds itself, to have an attitude stoked or scarred by despair and a sense of hopelessness. Yes, it is both frivolous and, possibly, dangerous midst a global pandemic that, once again, has the British in a stay-at-home-lockdown and with its economy in a recession, for them to contemplate the notion of leisure travel and/or a holiday.
Not the British. Midst the darkness of the news that has dominated the coverage of the UK’s travel and tourism industry—and, oh, there was that Presidential election across the pond in America—fully a third of the residents of the UK have indicated that they have not changed their holiday intentions for the next year. That is correct. A report on the results of 3,000 UK adults that was released last week noted that one in three British holidaymakers have not changed their holiday plans—even as they acknowledged that they are concerned about COVID-19.
GO USA/GO UK: Of course, such morsels of upbeat news are especially welcome among the travel suppliers and DMOs in the United States, which depends greatly on the business of the UK. Along with Germany and France—also, once again, experiencing lockdowns—the three generate more than one out of every five overseas visitors to the USA, which itself is currently suffering from a near-zero intake of such visitors because of travel bans worldwide.
About the survey, and what its findings tell us: The survey was conducted on behalf of Travel PR and marketing agency Lotus; it was conducted in late September among 3,000 UK adults who had traveled in the previous two years. Some of the highlights include the following:
—More than a quarter of the respondents (29 percent) said they would not travel abroad before there is a COVID-19 vaccine.
—A similar number (29 percent) said they would travel abroad less often than previously, and 10 percent would travel in another way or choose a different type of holiday.
—The key finding: just less than a third (32 percent) said their holiday plans would not change.
—More than three quarters of the respondents (77 percent) said they would not be swayed by holiday offers, which Lotus took to mean that cut-price deals will fail to bring travelers back.
—In a number that seems less than it is in surveys among travelers of other countries, just under a quarter of respondents (24 percent) said they were more likely to travel domestically than before because of COVID.
—More than one third (36 percent) were less likely to travel to “neighboring countries.”
—Forty-four percent were less likely to travel elsewhere in Europe.
—Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said that they were less likely to travel beyond Europe.
—However, half (50 percent) were as likely or more likely to travel to neighboring countries in the next years than before.
—Almost predictably, nearly three out of five travelers (59 percent) said they would still opt for a sun and beach holiday.
—Close to one in five (22 percent) expect to have fewer all-inclusive holidays.
—Fewer than one in ten (8 percent) appeared more likely to book with a travel agent as a result of the COVID crisis.
—About one in every eight respondents (12 percent) said that they would be more likely to book a package holiday despite financial protection and other benefits.
In commenting on the survey findings, Jules Ugo, Lotus chief executive, said: “It’s encouraging given the situation we’re in that so many people hope to holiday in Europe in the next 12 months.”
She added, “The travel industry has not been painted particularly positively in the media. There have been a lot of negative headlines – people not being refunded, not being able to get through to call center, being stranded on cruise ships … We need to build back confidence in the industry.”