Latest BVA/BDRC ClearSight survey on attitudes to travel & tourism

Summary of findings

Air Travel & International Holidays back on the Menu

The proportion of Brits booking an international holiday rose to its highest level in two years
during January. Consumers’ comfort with the idea of getting on a plane recovered sharply,
though still remains 20+ points below the pre-pandemic norm. The proportion of the
population making a journey by plane (for any reason) remained fairly consistent month on month.
Staycation Booking Activity Reaches New High since Start of Tracking
While we appear to be seeing the green shoots of recovery for international holidays, nearly
twice as many adults booked a UK holiday during January – the highest incidence since start of
tracking. Comfort with the idea of staying in hotels (in particular), but also other types of paid for accommodation jumped significantly as Omicron-driven fears receded. In general, the
accommodation sector is closing in on the pre-pandemic norm in terms of consumer comfort
levels.

Use of Rail Services on the Up

Despite Plan B measures being in place in England (and similar restrictions in other nations of
the UK) during most of January, use of rail services edged upwards compared with December,
while the incidence of those taking a bus remained virtually unchanged month-on-month. The
decline in consumers’ comfort with using public transport services recorded following the onset
of Omicron has now been reversed – though a ‘comfort gap’ vs pre-Covid times remains to be
closed.

Good News for Attractions as Visitor Confidence Returns

While the incidence of Brits visiting attractions (indoor or outdoor) remained unchanged
between December and January, visitors’ comfort with the idea of going to gardens / country
parks, theme parks, zoos, museums, historic houses, aquariums, indoor play centres rose
significantly in all cases.

For predominantly outdoor destinations such as gardens, country parks and castles, a higher
share of the population feels comfortable with the idea of visiting than the original pre-pandemic ‘norm’, reinforcing the sense that a positive legacy of the pandemic may be a more
widespread love of nature and the outdoors.

Seasonal Drop in Penetration for Shopping Malls, Restaurants, Pubs & Cinema

The proportion of the population visiting shopping malls, restaurants and pubs dipped slightly
in January, relative to December – with seasonal factors likely to be at play. All of these out-of-home sectors record improvements in consumers’ comfort with the idea of engaging, with
restaurants and shopping more or less back to the pre-pandemic norm.

 

 

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