Updates

    Press team

    New research* from ABTA reveals the number of people going on holiday in the 12 months to August 2016 has risen by almost 10% since the previous year: 86% of people took a holiday at home or abroad, compared to 77% in 2015. This is the largest number of the UK population taking a holiday since 2011.

    ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2016 also shows that the average number of holidays taken per person, per year, has increased slightly from 3.2 holidays last year to 3.4 holidays this year.

    Millennials and Baby Boomers lead the increase in overseas holidays

    Over half the population (56%) took a holiday abroad in the last year, a slight increase of 2% on 2015. The number of people holidaying abroad has been slowly increasing since 2013 when 52% holidayed overseas. The average number of foreign holidays per person grew notably in 2015 (from 1.2 to 1.5), so it is perhaps unsurprising that this year we have seen this stabilise at 1.4 per person.

    Millennials and Baby Boomers are fuelling the general increase in holidays overseas, with 25-34 year olds and 55-64 year olds being the most likely age groups to take more than four foreign holidays a year.

    ‘Olympic’ year for domestic breaks as UK holidays return to 2012 levels  

    This year has seen a surge in both the number of people taking a holiday in the UK and the number of domestic holidays per person, thanks to the wide range of anniversaries, festivals and events across the country which has helped encourage more people to take holidays at home. After a steady decrease since 2013, the number of people taking a UK holiday has increased this year to seven in ten (71%), up from 64% on the previous year. This signals a return to the numbers seen during the Olympic Summer of 2012 (71%). The number of domestic holidays per person has also increased from 1.7 in 2015 to 2.0 in 2016 – almost level with the 2.1 UK holidays per person in 2012.

    Young families with at least one child under five took the most UK holidays, with over a quarter (26%) taking more than four domestic holidays.

    Positive sentiment continues into 2017

    Almost a quarter (24%) of people plan to spend more on holidays next year with just 16% stating they will spend less. These numbers are broadly in line with 2015 when 23% planned to spend more and 15% planned to spend less, suggesting that the signs of optimism seen in the market last year have continued, despite uncertainty created by world events and political upheaval in the UK.

    Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “British holidaymakers value their holidays immensely and it is heartening to see that holidays are still a priority for most people, despite the high-profile events both overseas and here in the UK over the past 12 months. Looking ahead to 2017, our research suggests a continued positive outlook towards holiday-taking next year, although I would add a note of caution given the uncertainties that still lie ahead for the UK economy around the Government’s Brexit negotiations.” 

    Table 1.1 – Britons taking a holiday 2012-16

    Type of holiday

    2012

    2013

    2014

    2015

    2016

    No hols

    17%

    17%

    20%

    23%

    14%

    UK only

    26%

    31%

    27%

    23%

    30%

    Abroad only

    11%

    13%

    12%

    13%

    15%

    Both UK and abroad

    45%

    39%

    41%

    41%

    41%

    Table 1.2 – Average number of holidays per person 2012-16

    Avg no hols

    2012

    2013

    2014

    2015

    2016

    UK hols

    2.1

    1.9

    1.8

    1.7

    2.0

    Abroad hols

    1.4

    1.2

    1.2

    1.5

    1.4

    Total

    3.5

    3.1

    3.0

    3.2

    3.4

    About ABTA

    ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

    The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

    We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

    ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £33.07 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member or Partner means, and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com. 

    * Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in leisure and tourism market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated responses from a nationally representative sample of 1962 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2016. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2016.