Long haul and low budget holidays set to be most popular in 2017 as financial fears shake up UK travel market

A new survey commissioned by Rakuten Marketing has uncovered a new picture for travel operators in the UK market in 2017

  • Brits are reining in their holiday budgets this year, with 41% planning to spend less than £500 travelling abroad
  • However, 1/5 of travellers are likely to book long haul breaks with Asia, Africa and South America being popular destinations
  • Ahead of Brexit, 45% claim financial reasons are preventing them from committing to travel plans
  • 39% say it is only the discounts, vouchers and offers travel operators share that can sway them towards booking

London, UK, 2nd February 2017 – Digital marketing company, Rakuten Marketing, unveils the findings of its 2017 survey of the British travel market, revealing that nearly half (41%) of us will spend less than £500 on our trips abroad this year.

The survey of 1,000 consumers in January identified that while 43% of Brits admitted that they haven’t yet looked at booking a holiday, they likely would later in the year. This indicates consumer confidence could grow depending on the Brexit negotiations.

Undeterred from long haul

Regardless of the situation in Europe, Brits’ appetite for travel further afield does not seem to have been dampened. 20% of respondents picked either Asia, Africa or South America as the continent they are most likely to travel to this year. Intriguingly, the proportion did not drop when specifically looking at the travel plans of consumers over 35 years old, with 18% of people in this age bracket opting for long haul destinations.

James Libor, Performance Marketing & Technology Manager at Virgin Holidays comments, “This goes to show the fluidity of the travel market and digital consumers in general. We all chase value from the products and services we invest in. Where European travel might present uncertain outcomes for now, people are responding by looking further afield, where more exotic holidays are not only manageable but offer all kinds of perks, from consistent weather to your money going further. Travel operators have to keep their fingers on the pulse this year and, of course, it’s having accurate customer and interactions data that makes it possible to engage consumers effectively.”

Year of uncertainty

The most common causes of Brits holding back from travel in 2017 were related to finances. Collectively, concerns about financial instability (17%), poor exchange rates following Brexit (13%) and an interest in saving money through 2017 (15%) paint a clear picture of why many Brits have so far avoided committing to travel.

More traditional issues around travel, including not finding the right package (10%) or not knowing where to go (9%) featured less prominently in the results.

Discount dependent travellers

When asked what the best thing travel holiday companies can offer them at this time of year, 39% of respondents answered discounts, vouchers and offers. This far surpasses the number of consumers interested in receiving advice and guides (12%) or suggestions based on individual preferences (12%).

Rakuten Marketing’s 2017 Shopper Profiles revealed the top five large voucher and cashback publishers driving sales from Discount Dependent shoppers:

  • Quidco
  • TopCashBack
  • Vouchercloud
  • Voucherbox
  • co.uk

Abi Jacks, Marketing Director, Rakuten Marketing UK, adds, “It’s important to avoid making assumptions in the current climate. Our research has shown that traditional calendar peaks like the January holiday booking season are no longer guaranteed to make campaigns relevant to a mass audience. As people become more digitally savvy, they’re looking for discounts and vouchers throughout the year. Knowing these audiences, the channels they’re active on and their interests are essential factors for travel companies looking to remain competitive in 2017.”

About Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing is the global leader in digital marketing solutions that empower marketers to realise the full potential of their campaigns across display, affiliate & social channels. Our clients are looking to work with a transparent partner who can help them increase the efficiency and performance of their campaigns. These campaigns are supported by a robust platform that includes our own attribution & retargeting technology, unique data and advanced user identification capabilities.

Integrated multichannel solutions, along with our unique data insights and unparalleled client focus, equip marketers to deliver ad experiences that engage and influence across a global network.

Rakuten Marketing is backed by Rakuten, Inc. one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. With UK offices in London and Brighton, the company is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Australia, Brazil, Japan, and throughout the United States.

Follow us on Twitter or learn more at https://rakutenmarketing.com/en-uk.

Media contacts:
Cal Young, Hotwire
+44(0)20 7608 4629