It has been a year unlike any other for holidaymakers and the travel industry. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdown and put a halt to all non-essential travel. The 2020 Travel Survey by Michael Paul Holidays heard how the pandemic had impacted the plans of hundreds of British holidaymakers and found out what kind of holidays they are planning next. These are the findings with statistics and anecdotes plus the average cost of a holiday in 2020.
From July 2020, most British holidaymakers (85%) will be planning a UK getaway, with the majority of those (44%) booking a caravan holiday in a coastal area (73%).
Since many attractions are still currently closed and outdoor leisure activities are considered the safest, the most popular plan is to go walking (75%) in the great outdoors, visit the beach/seaside (73%) and/or go sightseeing (73%).
Over half of these holidaymakers (60%) said Covid-19 had changed the type of holiday they will now book in 2020 either due to previous cancellations and/or ongoing safety fears. Despite this, nearly half of holidaymakers (44%) said that special offers or discounts will still encourage them to book a holiday this year.
The most important factor in booking a holiday in 2020 is the option to cancel and get a full refund should there be a second wave of the virus. More than half the people asked (63%) said they would need proof their holiday property has been disinfected, although only 30% said that cleanliness was a major factor in their decision-making when it comes to booking a holiday this year.
The average budget for a UK holiday in 2020 is £1,300 and almost one in three (30%) said they are planning a short break rather than a long holiday.
- “I had one holiday cancelled and possibly another one in July. I just need a break as I am a nurse.”
- “We have cancelled holidays abroad but would like to have a change of scene, get together with family and enjoy the countryside or the coast somewhere.”
MOST POPULAR TYPES OF HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION
When asked about the type of accommodation they are going to book, almost half of those surveyed (44%) said they are planning to stay in a caravan.
A further 36% told us they will be staying in a touring camper van or motorhome with another 34% saying they plan to stay in a self-catering apartment.
More than a quarter of respondents (29%) told us they are planning to stay in a holiday lodge and only 18% said they will stay in a hotel.
The least popular type of holiday accommodation among those surveyed was camping, with just 13.5% saying they are planning a camping holiday this year.
Most Popular Types of Holiday
When asked what kind of break they are looking for, 73% said they are looking forward to a coastal holiday with a further 48% preferring to choose a break in the British countryside.
Only 7% said they will choose a city break this year while 17% told us they are planning a multi-centre holiday, travelling between destinations.
Almost a third of those surveyed (30%) said they are planning a short break rather than a long holiday.
How Covid-19 Has Changed British Holidays in 2020
Many Brits have had luxury cruises and exotic overseas holidays cancelled and postponed this year.
When asked whether Covid-19 had changed the type of holiday they will now book in 2020, over half of those surveyed (60%) said it had.
The reasons given included the cancellation of previously booked holidays both in the UK and overseas, as well as ongoing fear surrounding personal health and safety during the pandemic.
When asked, “Are you going to need proof that the property has been disinfected?” over half (63%) said yes, although just 30% said that cleanliness was a major factor in their decision-making when it comes to booking a holiday this year.
On Booking a Holiday Post Lockdown
We wanted to know what factors were now most important to those considering booking a holiday since the pandemic. Respondents were asked, “What would encourage you to book a holiday post-lockdown?
Almost half (47%) said that the most important factor to them is the option to cancel and get a full refund, with 40% stating the option to postpone their holiday to a later date is important. Only 34% said that holiday insurance that would cover cancellation due to Covid-19 will encourage them to book.
Almost half of holidaymakers (44%) said that special offers or discounts will be encouraging and 39% stated that the cleanliness of the communal areas and facilities will also be a factor in their decision making.
Several people anecdotally told us that the availability of dog-friendly accommodation will encourage them to book a holiday post lockdown.
Most Popular Holiday Activities IN 2020
As outdoor leisure pursuits are currently considered to be the safest activities and many attractions remain closed, we asked, “What activities will you participate in while on holiday?” A resounding 75% said they will spend their time walking, most likely around the coastline or through the countryside, national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Almost three quarters (73%) of holidaymakers said they are planning to visit the beach/seaside and (73%) said they will be sightseeing with 63% saying they plan to explore the countryside. Almost a third (32%) said they plan to visit famous landscaped gardens.
Almost a quarter (24%) plan to go cycling on holiday and only 23% said they are looking forward to other outdoor leisure pursuits including water sports or golf.
Perhaps surprisingly, 34% told us they plan to go shopping and 50.5% said they are hoping to visit an attraction, with just 11% planning to attend an event this year.
A fifth of those surveyed (20.5%) said they are going to be visiting friends or family on holiday this year.
Average Cost of a Holiday in 2020
When asked what their budget is for their next holiday, answers ranged from under £100 for a short camping trip to £5,000 for a longer holiday. The average holiday budget for 2020 is £1,300.
On going abroad...
- "Budget airlines cannot provide social distancing, turnaround cleanliness, washing facilities and aseptic service from cabin staff! Terrifying.”
- “I was hoping to go to America at Christmas. But I have no intentions of going there anytime soon. Maybe ever again.”
On feeling vulnerable...
- “Nervous about going anywhere because of cleanliness.”
- “We would not book and travel unless we felt absolutely safe to do so.”
On previous cancellations…
- “Our Suffolk holiday has been cancelled but we’re very happy as we got our deposit back and the staff that rang me to confirm cancellation was very helpful.”
- “We had a 6-week touring holiday booked for Devon & Cornwall and we had to contact each site and cancel. Thankfully, our deposits were reimbursed."
- “Currently have booked a holiday accommodation through Michael Paul Holidays for a lodge at John O Groats - very pleased with support and information given to date during Covid-19.”
On needing a break...
- “I am an NHS worker and have been working 6 days a week, so I am ready for a break.”
- “I have had to cancel two holidays so can't wait to go away now.”
THE VIEW FROM THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
This 2020 Travel Survey was conducted by Michael Paul Holidays in May 2020 to find out how our customers were feeling about the Covid-19 pandemic and what their future holiday plans might be. We appreciate that cleanliness in holiday homes has always been extremely important and recognise that now, more than ever, it is imperative to ensure that the correct procedures are followed by all holiday homes, parks and resorts.
As experts in UK holidays, we know and love the natural beauty, history and heritage of Great Britain and we’re pleased to be able to share it with more Brits this year than ever before.
Find out more in The Future of Travel Post Covid-19.