Will we holiday overseas this summer?

By | Category: Travel news
beach in Cuba

Cuba – do people feel confident to holiday abroad this year?

Yesterday was the 176th anniversary of the package holiday in the UK.

It was on the 5th of July in 1841 that Thomas Cook arranged that famous first excursion from Leicester to a temperance meeting in Loughborough. About 500 passengers paid a shilling each way which would amount to about £30 each way today. (The standard fare today is £6.80 return and first class return is £16.60.)

The industry has grown so that, today, outbound tourism from the UK to our overseas holiday destinations is worth about £30 billion. Consequently it is very important for the travel industry that we continue to feel we want to holiday abroad.

All sorts of exaggerated claims were made by both sides during the Brexit referendum thirteen months ago.

It was also said after the decline of the pound against most currencies by anything up to 25% that fewer of us would holiday abroad this year. So far there isn’t a lot of evidence to suggest that numbers have dropped away despite the fact that some economists thought a currency decline of that nature would depress overseas holiday bookings by about 6%.

It is too early to say what will happen but both major tour operators, TUI and Thomas Cook haven’t been suggesting that all is doom and gloom.

From DFDS, the ferry company, comes  survey claims that we are still planning on holidaying in Europe despite all the political and economic flip-flopping. 62% say the referendum result has not put them off travelling abroad at all, while 72% say they have not been conscious of having to minimise costs since the referendum, contrary to the public perception that the weakened pound has cast 2017 as the year of the staycation. According to the survey, a quarter of us do not intend to change “their tried-and-tested methods to save money” when booking a holiday abroad this summer, despite a third stating their holiday has increased in price compared to previous years.

If 43% of the remainers worry about how much exchange rates will affect their holiday, compared to 20% of leavers that means 57% of remainers and 80% of leavers are unworried about their holiday exchange rates. They presumably plan on holidaying come what may. (no pun intended.)

TUI, Thomas Cook, Jet 2, Expedia, Cosmos and all the other tour operators will be hoping that the DFDS survey results are accurate. And not as distant from the truth as some of the general election polls were!

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