News and Insights

Is Brexit Influencing UK Travellers’ Habits?

July 22, 2019

Brexit, and the continuing saga around the UK’s departure from the European Union is changing the UK travel consumer’s holiday habits, according to a number of recent surveys by major travel players.

British holidaymakers are increasingly favoring destinations outside of the European Union, recent statistics from tour operator Thomas Cook show.

According to the tour operator’s latest holiday report, 48% of its UK package holiday bookings for this summer are to non-EU destinations, 10 percent higher than 2018.

Cook says the shift reflects the political turmoil surrounding Brexit, possible airport disruption at EU destinations, passport control queues for British holidaymakers and the weakened value of the pound compared to the euro.

Spain remains the number one holiday destination for the UK package tour operator’s customers.  Turkey has been the biggest beneficiary of the changing travel patterns leapfrogging Greece to become the UK’s second most popular package holiday destination.

The USA was in fourth place while Cyprus was in fifth. Tunisia, impacted by terrorism in 2015, has seen bookings double compared to last year.

Meanwhile, according to the Post Office Travel Money Holiday Costs Barometer, the continuing weakness of the pound against the euro is the most likely cause for holidaymakers’ willingness to venture further afield.

Almost half of British travel consumers say they have been watching exchange rates more closely than previous years. 

Following the Brexit vote in June 2016 the pound slumped to a 31-year low on the currency markets, dropping 10% against the dollar to $1.33. Against the euro it fell from €1.32 to €1.11.

However, favorable exchange rates in Turkey and Tunisia make them popular destinations for summer 2019. Sterling has achieved its biggest year-on-year gain of 34.3% against the Turkish lira, the latest analysis reveals.

Holiday costs are also tumbling in some European resorts as they look to attract British visitors.  All-inclusive deals are also proving to be popular as customers look to lock in costs for peace of mind. Thomas Cook reports that 66% of this year’s summer bookings are all-inclusive – a slight increase on last year.

Further good news has come from market research company Mintel whose latest Travel Sector report claims that 27% of British holidaymakers expect to spend more on holidays over the next year – an increase on the 22% over the previous year.

TAGS: Travel & Tourism

POSTED BY: Steve Dunn