Cost-of-living worries hit next year’s holiday plans

By Lisa James
Home » Cost-of-living worries hit next year’s holiday plans

The cost-of-living crisis is by far the biggest issue to impact Brits’ 2023 holiday plans, according to the latest Industry Report by World Travel Market London.

The report, published today – the first day of WTM London 2022 – reveals two-thirds of all adults (66%) said rising prices were likely to have a serious impact on next year’s holiday plans, with one in four (27%) saying the price of petrol was a major concern.

In the key family market age groups of 35-44s and 45-54s, cost-of-living concerns on travel plans soared to 73% and 72% respectively.

The youngest and the eldest age groups are less concerned than anyone else, with 51% of 18-24s and 54% of over 65s saying the cost-of-living crisis will impact holiday choice.

Women are far more concerned about the effect of the cost of living on travel plans next year, with 73% saying it will affect holiday spend, compared with 58% of men.

The research was conducted before last week’s interest rate rise to 3% and the Bank of England’s warning that the UK is already in a recession, which is likely to be prolonged – so the number of people concerned about the cost of living on their holiday plans could well be higher now.

The findings of the consumer survey correspond with separate research, carried out by WTM London among key decision-makers made up of senior buyers and exhibitors at the show.

When asked the question: ‘Which of the following is most likely to affect your business negatively in 2023?’ 45% cited ‘cost of living generally’.

The price of petrol was cited by 13%, while energy prices were a concern for one in 10 respondents.

Taken together, the cost of living plus petrol and energy prices, these responses amounted to more than two thirds of those surveyed (68%).

WTM Exhibition Director Juliette Losardo said: “Assistance with energy bills has offered some reassurance for consumers and businesses but we’re still facing a grim winter, especially as so many travel firms have been devastated by the pandemic disruption.

“Soaring fuel prices will hit the price of holidays, while inflation will eat away at families’ disposable income – meaning leisure travel may be unaffordable for some, especially at the budget end of the market.

“However, experience has shown us that consumers are keen to prioritise spending on holidays, especially as they have been hit by lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.”

The WTM London research quizzed 210 travel industry professionals. The consumer survey was carried out among 2,000 respondents from the UK.

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