Holidaying abroad but spending less

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Bulgaria is becoming a more popular destination. Thracian cliffs in Bulgaria © Anthony Lydekker

That seems to be the theme of the latest annual Holiday Habits report from ABTA.

It seems that 60% took an overseas holiday in  the twelve months up until August this year which is three percentage points up on the previous period. How might that equate with the images of busy beaches at UK resorts this summer? The answer could be that many of us took both an overseas holiday and a UK short break or that more of us took day trips.

The report tells us that Spain and Portugal remained popular which will surprise absolutely no-one. But holidays in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria became much more popular which fits in with what destinations are reporting. The report makes no mention of more Britons and Irish holidaying in Egypt or Tunisia but that certainly grew in the summer of 2018.

The report finds evidence that we are spending less but it records a drop of just £24 from £586 in the previous report to £562 in this one. It also says that value for money has become more important as a reason for booking a holiday than it was last year.

As to projecting what we might do in the future, ABTA says that although we are becoming increasingly cost-conscious, seeking value for money and budgeting more wisely in their holiday choices, 51% of Brits plan to spend the same on holidays next year.  This is despite the fact that 54% said they are concerned about the impact Brexit will have on the cost of their holiday, up from 51% last year.

Despite those concerns, responders still list Europe as their likely holiday destination next year but do they mean EU countries or places like Turkey and Bulgaria rather than Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal?

Crystal ball gazing is more difficult than usual with Brexit interfering before next year’s summer holiday season. It could be that the responders to the ABTA survey are assuming that a deal will emerge that may not change things much.

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