Brits to spend £129 billion having fun, with kids’ activities proving a big hit with adults

March 23, 2018

With the clocks moving forward this weekend and Easter just around the corner, Brits are set to spring into action. New research from Mintel finds fun-loving Brits are expected to spend £129 billion on leisure activities this year, a 17% increase compared to five years ago. The future of the UK leisure market is predicted to be in great shape, with Brits forecast to spend an eye-watering £141 billion on enjoying themselves by 2022.

Kids’ party favourites are capturing the imagination of Britain’s adults as Mintel finds that trampolining and outdoor assault courses are proving popular amongst adventure-seeking Brits.

Almost three in ten (28%) adults have tried trampolining, with a further quarter (24%) interested in trying it in the future. While interest in this activity peaks among 25-34 year olds (37%), almost one in ten (8%) over-55s say they would be interested in trampolining too, confirming you are never too old to jump for fun.

And as if trampolining isn’t enough to get the heart pumping, Mintel research reveals that one in seven (15%) Brits has tried an outdoor assault course with a further three in ten (29%) interested in trying one in the future, rising to just under half (46%) of 18-24-year-olds.

Other new leisure activities that have already captured Brits’ interest include immersive theatre (with 13% having tried it), virtual reality theme park rides (11%) and escape room challenges (10%).

Helen Fricker, Associate Director Leisure, said:

“More adults are taking part in activities that are traditionally aimed at children. There has been a rise in trampolining parks and ball pits that cater to adults. Other kids’ party favourites, such as bouncy castles and slides, are also getting the grown-up treatment. This includes adults-only inflatable assault courses, accompanied by craft beer, DJs and street food markets. Whether it’s trampolining, outdoor assault courses or escape room challenges, there is a clear drive towards activities which are more active in nature.”

“Understandably, an outdoor assault course is not going to appeal to everyone as they generally require a good level of physical fitness and have a reputation for not being for the faint-hearted. However, the rise in their popularity amongst Millennials is reflective of how health and fitness have become almost a status symbol.” Helen continues.

Tenpin bowling makes a comeback

Online gaming and betting (up 67%), music, concerts and festivals (up 35%) and tenpin bowling (up 28%) were the top three fastest growing leisure markets by value between 2012-17. In contrast, nightclubs was the worst performing sector of the leisure industry, suffering a 18% decline between 2012 and 2017.

Highlighting the nation’s growing love of leisure, some 30% of UK adults (rising to 48% of Millennials) who have taken part in a leisure activity in the last year* say they are spending more money on leisure activities than they were a year ago.

“The UK leisure market is in robust health benefiting from consumers seeking out more experience-led activities, with live music in particular receiving a boost from this trend. There are now more events taking place, with more Brits deciding to stay in the UK for gigs, while the favourable exchange rate is encouraging more foreign fans to attend events here. After years of decline, tenpin bowling is enjoying a surprise renaissance with operators reaping the rewards of investing in sites and more appealing food menus, while some bowling sites also offer a choice of multiple activities, such as live music and karaoke.

“Nightclubs are still struggling to overcome the challenges they face as the result of changing consumer habits, including young adults drinking less, and many more alternative night-time activities such as immersive cinema or indoor street food markets.” Concludes Helen.

*12 months to September 2017

Research was carried out by Lightspeed among 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in September 2017.

Press copies of Leisure Review UK 2017 report are available on request from the press office.

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