It seems that Brits have caught the travel bug, as new research from Mintel reveals that 2016 could be a record-breaking year for holidaymakers. Indeed, whilst 82% of consumers took a holiday last year, one in four (24%) say they expect to spend more on holidays in 2016, while 7% plan to take a ‘holiday of a lifetime’.

What’s more, Mintel research indicates that dads with children under the age of 16 are setting their sights further afield. Almost one third (30%) of this group say they expect to take more holidays during the next 12 months and one in 10 (10%) plan to take the trip of a lifetime. Overall, nine in 10 (91%) fathers with children under the age of 16 took a holiday in the past year.

The number of Brits taking any holiday rose to 82% in 2015, up from 78% in 2014.

91% of fathers with children under the age of 16 took a holiday in the past year

Fergal McGivney, Technology and Travel Analyst at Mintel, said:

“There is a positive outlook for the market in 2016 with a quarter of holidaymakers expecting to spend more on holidays in the coming year compared to last. In particular, the outlook for the overseas holiday market in 2016 is encouraging due to the relative strength of the Pound, rising real wages, low unemployment, and cheap oil allowing airfares to fall. Our data reveals that fathers of under-16s are particularly engaged consumers; family holiday products aimed at this group could be a particularly lucrative marketing strategy for brands throughout 2016.”

What’s more, forget sun, sea and sand, Mintel research shows that city breaks were just as popular as beach breaks in 2015. Over one in three (35%) holidaymakers said they went on a city break in 2015, with the same proportion (35%) saying they went on a beach holiday. The number of those taking a city break is up from 32% in 2014, whilst the number taking a beach holiday has fallen slightly from 36%.

And it seems like there’s no place like home for many as staycations were the most popular holiday in 2015. The number of Brits taking any holiday in the UK rose to 62% in 2015, up from 58% the year before, with consumers holidaying in England rising from 49% to 53%.

Indeed the most popular destination was the UK for holidaymakers, followed by any other destination in Europe (24%). One in eight (15%) took a holiday in a long-haul destination outside of Europe in the past 12 months. For this group, the most popular destinations were North America (38%), followed by Asia (25%) and Africa (19%).

However, it’s short and sweet breaks that look set to win the hearts of travel makers in 2016. One quarter (26%) of holidaymakers say they expect to take more short breaks, ie. between 1-3 nights, over the next 12 months, compared to one in five (21%) who say they expect to take longer holidays.

“Short breaks should prove to be popular among UK holidaymakers through the end of 2016. Our research reveals that city breaks are now just as popular as the traditional beach holiday, and this is likely to continue in the coming months.” Fergal adds.

Over the past 12 months, almost half (46%) of Brits visited one holiday destination, compared to just one in five (22%) who visited two and one in seven (14%) who visited three or more.

And when choosing where to book, despite the popularity of review websites it’s word of mouth that has the biggest influence. Of holidaymakers, one quarter (25%) said recommendations from friends and family have the biggest influence on their choice of destination, compared to 20% who take guidance from holiday review websites and just 5% who get advice from a travel agent.

“As recommendations from friends and family are the most influential for consumers looking to book a holiday, this can be extended into the social media sphere, as consumers find that recommendations from peers who are ‘in-the-know’ are perceived to be more authentic. By encouraging consumers to share their holiday plans with their friends and acquaintances across their social platforms, this can act as a form of ‘social proofing’ for travel brands.”

Finally, Mintel’s latest Lotteries report found that for those who play the lottery, they are most likely to spend their winnings on a holiday abroad. Three in 10 (30%) lottery players said that if they won £10,000, the first thing they would spend money on would be a holiday, compared to 27% who would use it to add to their savings, invest or pay off their debts.

*12 months to November 2016

Press review copies of the Holiday Review UK 2016 report and interviews with Technology and Travel Analyst Fergal McGivney are available on request from the press office.

© 2016 Mintel Group Ltd. | Privacy Policy | Legal | Cookie Use
To find out how Mintel Ltd has benefited from ERDF funding click here