Backpacker looking out at view of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire

Eight facts about British travellers

Avatar Image
By Lottie Gross
View Comments

We’re tweeting mad, blessed with a hint of thriftiness and we don’t trust our friends as much as strangers – this week’s World Travel Market Industry Report revealed the following interesting facts about UK travellers:

1. 39% of UK travellers will only consider short haul holidays next year

With the UK’s aviation tax increasing again in 2014, 39% of British travellers say they will only consider short-haul holidays next year, as the highest air passenger duty (APD) fee for a flight over 6,000 miles will rise to £388 (from £376). British APD is some 400% higher than in most other EU countries – there’s no wonder we’re looking to stay closer to home!

An aeroplane passes the sun

2. Six in ten holidaymakers would pay extra for no-frills business class

A new trend that has taken off in the Middle Eastern aviation industry could now catch on in the West. No-frills carriers, such as Jazeera Airways in Kuwait, offer a business class service for passengers looking for a little more leg room at a lot lower cost. A huge 87% of industry executives believe this could be a successful service in other regions of the world, with 60% of British travellers saying they would pay more for the business class cabins – some even up to £350 extra. So, Ryanair and easyJet, we’re looking to you!

3. 18% of UK holidaymakers are likely to visit Rio 2016 due to London’s Olympic success

Thanks to the feel good factor created by the positive domestic coverage of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rio is set to enjoy a steep rise in visits from British travellers. Only 155,448 Brits visited Brazil in 2012, so the report’s findings would mean a significant increase in tourism from the UK, and likely the rest of the world.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Fantastically romantic places

4. 43% of Brits use social media while on holiday

We’re a nation of tweeters and Instagrammers, and that doesn’t stop when we go on holiday. Despite extortionate roaming charges (which could be set to change, mind), 10% of Brits said they are more active on social media when travelling anywhere in the world, and 7% – who were obviously more conscientious of the dreaded monthly bill – said they were more active only when holidaying in the UK. With almost half of us still attached to our smartphones and tablets, making friends and colleagues jealous of our exciting escapes, it’s a wonder we get time to relax – we’re obviously just a nation of sharers, how kind!

5. Baby Prince George with mum & dad are the most popular family to sit next to on a flight

Because we’re all likely to bump into the UK’s most attractive family on the next easyJet flight to Málaga, almost half of British holidaymakers have been dreaming about sitting next to Prince George being cradled by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their flight abroad. As imaginations wandered into the realms of mile-high celebrity encounters, Victoria Beckham with baby Harper were on the list, alongside Beyonce and her daughter, Blue Ivy.
Who would you sit next to? > 

6. 70% of holidaymakers have never been on a cruise

Top-deck pools, entire golf courses and cheesy entertainment galore all on one ship: it might be the fastest growing sector of the travel industry, but cruises aren’t as popular among the masses as this might suggest. More than seven out of ten British travellers have never been on a cruise holiday, and an outright 32% said they’d never consider it. We just can’t figure out why 70% of Brits wouldn’t want to come aboard after the Costa Concordia was finally unearthed from the depths of Med.

7. 37% of parents would takes their kids out of school for holidays despite fines

Unless you want to pay a fine of £60 per child, per guardian (that means mum and dad), parents in the UK will have to stick to peak-time breaks, as new rules ban them from taking their kids out of school. There has been uproar among parents and almost 130,000 people have signed a petition to reverse the regulations because they believe it criminalizes those who want an “affordable family holiday”. However, it seems that despite the fines, many (37%) British parents would still take their kids out of the classroom for that all-important bargain break.
Have your say here >

Hayley Spurway's children on a ferry

8. Nearly a third of travellers trust peer reviews over recommendations from friends

Despite having to trawl through hundreds of them to come to a fair and satisfying conclusion, 27% of Brits are more inclined to take advice from strangers’ reviews online than those from our friends. After peer review sites, a surprising 18% said they’d use personal recommendations to help plan a trip – we’re unsure of what this says about the state of British friendships.

The WTM Industry Report is based on the findings of two independently conducted surveys in September 2013. The first surveyed 1277 WTM stakeholders (tourist boards and private sector travel industry organisations), and the second focused on the answers of 1001 British holidaymakers, all of whom took a minimum seven day summer holiday overseas or in the UK in 2013.