The Great British Holiday Report sends another message to our Barbados Tourism Authority…
Perhaps the decades of using tiny budgets to generate ‘big picture’ results has made it almost a prerequisite to research as many marketing options as possible, hopefully increasing the probability of success.
Last month, Teletext Holidays commissioned an independent market research company, Opinion Matters, to conduct a survey of 1,775 UK adults,for in their words ‘uncover British Attitudes to booking holidays’. The Great British Holiday Report concluded what many tourism professionals perhaps had already gleaned over the last few years of challenging operation, but it’s worth repeating some of the findings if we are going to fully understand one of our main markets.
You can download your own PDF version of the report here: The Great British Holiday Report
Without wanting to copy, parrot fashion, large parts of the report I think its important to put the findings in context…
‘Getting away from it all for a week or two is the highlight of the year for many Britons, which is why we put so much time and effort into choosing the perfect holiday’.
However, the way holidays are booked and planned has changed in recent years.
‘What’s more, as a result of the economic downturn, Britons have become more accustomed to seeking out the best deals’.
‘Many Britons now book within weeks of their departure date: 23 per cent within two months of travel and more than two thirds (67 per cent) within six months of departure’.
But even those conclusions have to be further broken down. Men are more inclined to book last-minute, while women are almost twice as likely to book more than a year in advance.
Young people love Rihanna, but they have little money to holiday in Barbados.
That fact should have been obvious to the BTA from the start.
If gender is an important factor, then age is even more critical to destination decision making. The average Briton spends GBPounds 554.40 per person on their holiday. However, of all the survey’s respondents 51 per cent were aged between 14-24 years and they only spent between GBPounds 200-400 – therefore putting Barbados clearly out of range as a holiday option.
So it would appear that targeting the under 25 year olds has the least prospect of influencing long haul destination selection. That’s something to think about while we are attempting to piggyback on Rihanna’s enviable success and the demographics of her typical followers.
As has been the norm for some time, the older age groups spent the most – 17 per cent aged 55 plus spending GBPounds 801-1,000 and 6 per cent over GBPounds 1,000.
Another revelation that perhaps should not have surprised me is that one County Council authority is reporting an increase of 400 per cent in fines over the last five years levied on parents taking their children out of school during terms. This in an effort to avoid the traditionally higher prices charged during school holiday periods.
Another point of interest was that across all the ten most popular family destinations, three can be deemed as long haul destinations: the USA, Egypt and Australia. Australia stands out as to get there from the UK involves a flight of at least 18 hours (non stop). Even between the closest points, London and Darwin, it is a daunting 8,608 flying miles which needless to say attracts the highest band (D) of APD (Advanced Passenger Tax).
So is this helping to dispel the myth of the APD being a deterrent to travel?