Europ Assistance today released the findings of its 19th Annual Holiday Barometer, conducted by Ipsos, which looks at the summer holiday plans and travel preferences of respondents in twelve countries across the globe. This year’s survey found that the number of European travelers who had summer travel plans held steady at 63 percent while in the UK, 64 percent of travelers indicated they have summer travel plans.
Across Europe, budgets for travel increased by 3 percent in 2019 to an average spend of €2,019, a number that increases to €2,099 when looking only at counties that make up the Euro Zone (excludes the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Poland). The increase in the European budget this year is mainly driven by France, Spain, and Germany with respondents from each country indicating that their travel budget increased by 10, 8, and 4 percent respectively. Meanwhile travel budgets in the United Kingdom dropped by 5 percent from the year prior to £1,861 (€2,151). Interestingly US budgets also decreased by 10 percent from the year prior to $2,373 (€2,131).
As in years prior, budget was the top factor when it came to vacation decision-making. Americans and Europeans both ranked the climate and the possibility of taking part in leisure and cultural activities in their top-three factors. Concerns around terrorism have decreased in Europe (42% down 6 points from the year prior) and America (33% down 7 points from the year prior).
This year’s Holiday Barometer also found that 62 percent of Europeans wanted to spend their summer holiday by the seaside, with 57 percent of UK travelers looking to take their holiday by the beach. Interestingly, UK travelers have also become more partial to visiting the mountains (14% up two points from the year prior) and countryside (33% up four points from the year prior). Additionally, 52 percent of UK travellers indicated that they would be most interested in discovering new cultures during their summer holiday.
Probably the most notable UK stat was the number of travellers who said they would take full advantage of their holiday by indicating they would be totally disconnecting from work. Just over three-quarters (76%) of UK travelers (up five points from the year prior) indicated they would disconnect from work, which was higher than the number of respondents in France (71%), Italy (67%), Brazil (63%), and the United States (54%). When asked what they would do if their holiday budget was doubled, 36 percent of UK travelers said they would travel longer compared to 20 percent who said they would visit other destinations and 15 percent who would book better accommodations. Unsurprisingly, two of the seven wonders of the world topped the list of destinations to visit at least once in a lifetime for UK travelers including the Pyramids (17%), the Grand Canyon (11%), and the Great Wall of China (10%).
Paul Williams, Group Head of Sales, Europ Assistance: “While our 19th Annual Holiday Barometer provided us with some interesting findings about UK travellers, there are some clear differences with near neighbours in Europe. For instance, while UK travel budgets are down five percent this year, they are still higher than the average travel budgets indicated by those in the Euro Zone.
It was also interesting to see that 76 percent of UK travellers said they were looking to totally disconnect from work while on vacation, beating the second highest, France, by 5 percentage points (71%) and the US, the lowest (54%), by 22 percentage points. Which shows that while UK travellers may be more frugal when planning their holiday this year, they’re looking to take full advantage of their time off.”