The British have changed their travel habits in 2016, according to new research by travel deals company Travelzoo.
A new study, released in the middle of a week considered by the travel industry as one of the busiest in the year for summer-holiday bookings, suggests the majority of British people (82%) are still planning to go on one or more holidays this year. However, more than two thirds (71%) are now choosing where to go based on how safe they feel the destination is. In fact safety has become the most important factor in travel decisions, ahead of the affordability (52%) and good weather (42%).
Louise Hodges, European Head of Communications at Travelzoo, said: “It’s great to see there’s still an incredibly strong appetite for summer holidays amongst the British public, for both European and longer-haul destinations. The research, however, does echo what our partners in the travel industry have been telling us: although many Britons are still planning to get away this summer, they are now opting for what they perceive to be safe travel destinations, rather than simply chasing the sun, and this in turn is having a direct impact on the countries they are travelling to.”
The UK (27%) has been revealed as the most popular choice of destination for 2016, beating Spain (21%) into second place, and France (10%) into third. The USA and Italy are in equal fourth place, while the top 10 also includes long-haul destinations such as Canada, Australia and the Caribbean (see list of top 10 destinations below).
A number of respondents said their destination choice was impacted by existing travel restrictions – 11% of respondents said if bans to Sharm el Sheikh or Tunisia were lifted they’d travel there immediately, while overall 43% would be willing to travel there at some point in the near future.
Hodges commented: “Despite the attempts of terrorists to disrupt our daily lives it’s great to see the great British public still insisting on their summer holiday. Of course the situation has meant that safety considerations are impacting destination choices and this is affecting prices and availability.”
“Prices are higher to the Western Mediterranean than previous years and availability is undoubtedly lower – as we predicted earlier in the year many holidays there have already sold out. I have spoken with some UK suppliers who have had hotel stock withdrawn by Spanish hoteliers holding out for higher rates. At the other end some of the best deals we have ever seen can be had to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey for those determined not to have their holiday choices disrupted.”
The countries British people have booked or are planning to visit for their main summer holiday in 2016 are:
1. UK (27%)
2. Spain (21%)
3. France (10%)
=4. USA (8%)
=4. Italy (8%)
6. Greece (7%)
=7. Canada (5%)
=7. Germany (5%)
=7. Portugal (5%)
=10. Australia (4%)
=10. Caribbean (4%)
=10. Cyprus (4%)
*About the research
The survey for Travelzoo’s Travel Trends report was conducted with an online questionnaire by third-party research agency Atomik. The questionnaire was completed by 2,000 consumers in the UK.