Activity holidays another UK credit crunch victim

Take a sailing vacationI've written before about green travel options getting crunched and now there's signs another type of vacation is on the decline in the UK.

Not only are people's vacations outside of the United Kingdom being cut, the downward trend is even more pronounced when it comes to the more expensive active vacations that have been popular when times were good. Rather than seeing paragliding and sailing holidays I think we'll be seeing a lot more beach vacations during this year and next.

Here's the press release in full:



In 2009 and 2010 the impact of the UK recession is expected to lead to a reduction in the volume of holidays taken abroad compared with holidays taken in the UK.

In Activity Holidays, a new Market Assessment Report from market intelligence provider Key Note, it is forecast that this effect is likely to be more pronounced in the case of the relatively more expensive overseas activity holidays, and to be concentrated in the early part of the period. Once economic recovery is under way, growth in the market for activity holidays is expected to resume.

As the current recession continues, it is likely that some travellers will economise by taking holiday trips at home in the UK rather than abroad. Key Note anticipates that this effect will be more marked in the activity holiday sector, where there is a greater price differential between the overseas and domestic products than in some other sectors of the overall holiday market.

This said, once the economy recovers, the domestic sector is expected to continue to decline in relation to the overseas sector.

Exclusive consumer research for the report reveals that around 33% of the respondents to the survey had been on one or more activity holidays either in the UK or abroad during the past five years. Around 19% of those interviewed indicated that, although they had not yet taken an activity holiday either in the UK or abroad, they would consider doing so in the future. The corresponding figure for those who had not yet taken such a holiday in the UK was 25%, and for those who had not yet taken a holiday abroad, but would consider doing so in the future, the proportion was 24%.

In terms of type of holiday activity, walking (including trekking) emerged as the most popular activity with 14% of respondents indicating that they had taken a walking or trekking holiday in the UK, and 7% stating that they had taken such a holiday abroad. The survey found that multi-activity holidays were also popular, with 9% of respondents saying that they had been on such a holiday in the UK, compared with 6% who had taken this type of holiday abroad.

Overall, the conclusion of the analysis is that the appeal of overseas activity holidays is being broadened with respect to a number of demographic characteristics, including age, social grade and region of residence. The recession affecting the UK economy over the forecast period from 2009 to 2013 will be a major factor, and Key Note calculates its forecasts on the assumption that recovery will not start until 2011. In the short term, the impact of the recession will be more severe on the overseas sector, but this situation will probably be reversed as the economy resumes it growth pattern.

The exclusive consumer research was carried out for Key Note by NEMS Market Research as part of a telephone omnibus survey consisting of 1,002 interviews with a representative sample of adult residents of Great Britain, in order to establish the extent of their activity holiday taking. In order to obtain a more accurate picture of the size of the market and in order to boost the relatively small sample size, respondents were invited to indicate the incidence of such holiday taking over the past five years, rather than in just the most recent year. The results of the survey are compared with the headline results from a similar survey commissioned by Key Note and carried out by NEMS Market Research in November 2005.

Key Note’s Market Assessment – Activity Holidays – examines the UK market for activity holidays, taken either at home or abroad. The previous Market Assessment report on this subject was produced in 2006. This fully updated and revised report takes account of the many developments in this market that have taken place since then.

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