January is the month of new year predictions, and on the travel front one of the most important trend forecasts is ABTA’s annual Travel Trends Report.
The organisation has just released its 2015 Report developed in association with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and it shows that not only is consumer confidence is returning to the holiday market, holidaymakers will be looking for all things “new” – and more adventurous experiences – not just sun lounging escapes.
The report says more consumers are planning to spend a bit more on their holidays in 2015 v. cutting back (20% of respondents said they plan to fork out more on holidays and only 15% say they are planning to spend less).
And a key highlight is “experiences”, with travellers keener to explore new horizons than over the past few years, so 2015 looks set to be a good year not only for adventure and spa tourism, but for destinations “on the up”.
Some of ABTA’s 2015 travel trends findings include:
More spending, more holidays
ABTA notes that “affluent consumers are breaking away from the cautious optimism that has dominated the market for the last couple of years. Whilst this group remains relatively small, it looks set to drive some growth in the travel industry in 2015. Last year, people took an average of three holidays per person, with those in social class ‘A’ having 4.7 holidays per person. This is a marked increase from 2013 when this group took 3.6 holidays per person and is likely to continue into 2015”.
More for your money and multi-centre holidays
Multi-centre holidays could be a big trend this year – flying in to one destination and spending a couple of nights at one or two others, to really get a feel for a country or region. Holidaymakers also want to get “more bang for their buck”, combining elements such as special events, entertainment shows or unique experiences during their getaway. Adventure holidays and activity holidays (getting or keeping fit while you’re away) are also a significant forecasted trend.
N is for new
British holidaymakers have pretty much played it safe for the last few years with their holiday choices, but ABTA’s report indicates that more are planning to explore new destinations in 2015; over a third (35%) think they will take a holiday to a country they have never been to before.
Living like a local
Living like a local is a key trend across all age groups. 2015 will be a year for more authentic holiday experiences, taking the time to combine traditional tourist attractions with discovering hidden gems.
The destination celebration will be big. Friends and families will be getting away in groups to commemorate, celebrate and share experiences – weddings in Marrakech, anniversaries in the Scottish highlands, stag and hen trips to Marbella and so on…
City breaks will be big
Interestingly, city breaks eclipsed beach holidays as the most popular type of holiday in 2014 and urban escapes are expected to hang on to the top spot into 2015, with 43% of people planning a city break and 42% planning a beach holiday.