The report includes the results of an independent online survey completed by almost 1,000 people* which found that despite the current economic climate, an overwhelming 80% of the population said they expected to take a 2010 holiday and similar numbers said the recession will not lead them to change their holiday plans.
Around half the people surveyed by Thomson and First Choiceare planning to spend the same as this year and an encouraging 24% are counting on spending more.
Of those people who said the recession had changed their holiday plans this year, around 6% said they had considered package holidays this year so as to offer extra security in the case of an airline collapse – a figure that more than doubles to 13% for 2010.
For resourceful British holidaymakers, every cloud has a silver lining and in the credit crunch it’s the ability to trade up. As hotel rates come down, so British travellers’ aspirations go up and a large proportion of holidaymakers (46%) said they would use the recession to book five-star hotels at three or four star prices. Travellers may be going further afield next year as well – more than 23% said they will look to buy a longer flight for the same price as one nearer to home. Another sizable group – 18% – said they would snap up offers on flight upgrades from airlines keen to fill premium seats.
The proportion of people saying they would consider booking all-inclusive holidays jumps from 10% to 16% for next year. This is a trend predicted by Thomson and First Choice in 2008 and its set to continue. The tour operators’ report that many hotels have changed their board basis to satisfy consumer demand for 2010 and bookings for cruises are also strong. Thomson Cruises is now Britain’s second largest cruise company
Despite recessionary pressures, the Thomson and First Choice report also revealed that the environment and sustainability are now mainstream concerns. Six out of ten people say they would be more likely to book with a company which showed greener business practices such as employing local people, sourcing local produce and using hotels that don’t waste energy.
One major cloud on the horizon for travellers in 2010 is the Air Passenger Duty tax increases planned by the British government which will come into force in two stages from November 2009. These will increase the tax on long haul flights – typically 12 hours or more – from 40 to 80.
However, travellers now seem used to the issue of swine flu. The Thomson and First Choice trends report confirmed that six out of ten people expect their holiday plans to be unchanged next year in the event of a pandemic, and only one in ten said they may change their plans.