Research Insights Travel still tops the priority list for U.K. consumers

Travel still tops the priority list for U.K. consumers

November 2021
Phocuswright Research

For U.K. consumers, travel remains coveted, even in a tumultuous year when it was often unattainable. According to Phocuswright’s latest travel research report U.K. Consumer Travel 2021, two in five rate travel as a high priority purchase. Travel still tops the priority list, but the importance of other spend categories was re-shuffled as consumers were forced to stay home. Home improvement and book purchases rose in the ranks compared to the before times.

Phocuswright Chart: Discretionary spend top priority
(Click image to view a larger version.)

But how did U.K. travelers adapt their trips during the pandemic? Travelers opted to keep trips that were shorter, while extended vacations more than a weeklong became less common.

Seven in 10 took a trip within the U.K. and only 47% of travelers went abroad, and even then, most international travel was within Europe.

Destination types varied by age, as well as destination decision influences. Younger travelers especially had to asses wallet compatibility, whereas travelers 55+ allowed positive prior experience to drive their decisions more—key clues that will help travel companies target their marketing and understand how consumer behavior is changing or staying the same.

Phocuswright Chart: Destinations decisions influences last trip
(Click image to view a larger version.)

In the U.K., despite challenging market conditions, travel and tourism remain a high priority purchase for consumers. This report, based on a comprehensive survey of past U.K. travelers and those who planned to travel in 2021, explores U.K. consumers’ trip-planning and purchasing behavior, including the impact of the pandemic on their 2020 travel and their attitudes toward travel in 2021 and beyond. Download it here.

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