A report commissioned by Teletext Holidays – aptly named The Great British Holiday Report – which recently surveyed 1,775 British holidaymakers online, found 31% felt they had been ripped off.
Teletext Holidays says it believes the dissatisfaction is down to the new culture of “extras” particularly while booking with a no-frills airline.
One of the big advantages of timeshare ownership, however, is the lack of surprise add-ons, as holidays are paid for upfront, leaving only day to day food expenses and flights to be taken care of while away.
“It is certainly the case that the travel industry has undergone major changes, especially with the growth in no frills, low-cost airlines,” said Amy Patel from Teletext Holidays
“The cost cutting that needs to go into creating these cheap flights have had a massive impact on how package holidays are put together today. By regulation, our governing bodies state that any two items sold at the same time constitute a package holiday.
“Therefore, more often than not, the all new package holiday now consists of only a flight and the accommodation. This in itself is not unusual for the customer, as there have always been extras to pay for; these include insurance and airport parking etc.
“However this has introduced a new culture of extras, like transfers and fees which are often added at a later stage in the booking process. This saw the emergence of a new trend in the holiday market, something we call the dynamic package holiday.”
The report identified booking patterns and found that 23% of Brits book within two months of travel while a larger number are thinking well ahead – 67% book within six months of departure.
Of those surveyed, 12% book within a month of travel, perhaps enticed by last-minute offers or feeling the need to get a blast of sun when the UK weather misbehaves.
The report also highlighted marked differences between the sexes. Men are the most likely to book a last minute deal while women are almost twice as likely to book more than a year in advance.
The average holiday spend is £554.40 per person, although 45% spend £400 or less, with just 17% spending over £800.
The report showed that when travelling overseas, the most popular countries for families are:
Interestingly, this coincides with timeshare holiday favourites – Spain is the biggest in Europe, while the USA is a huge timeshare market, with France also very popular for timeshare breaks.
Top of the most popular cities list was Barcelona, perhaps not surprisingly, due to its proximity to the UK and its unique city-by-the-beach attractions.
Finally, Barcelona scored well again in the “most popular beach resorts” category. The top five included Florida, another huge timeshare favourite, as well as one of Spain’s most popular tourist resorts, Benidorm.