UK travellers seek flexibility over low cost

UK: A study by SiteMinder, a guest acquisition platform, has found that more than half of UK locals plan to travel domestically during the remainder of 2020 and will prioritise flexibility over low cost.

The Changing Traveller Report, based on the survey responses of around 600 UK holidaymakers, reveals that 52 per cent anticipate taking a domestic trip some time this year.

When choosing accommodation, the top most important considerations are:

  • Free cancellation and/or booking modification (37 per cent)
  • Well-promoted health and/or safety practices (29 per cent)
  • Remote location and/or low levels of tourism (15 per cent)
  • Low price (14 per cent)

More than a third are in the midst of planning their next domestic trip, and 10 per cent are already in the process of booking. A further 10 per cent are already on their trip, and one-in-three are waiting until next year to travel again.

Additionally, one third of UK locals plan to take a shorter trip than they would have prior to COVID-19, and a total of 48 per cent will book their accommodation less than a month before travelling.

James Bishop, senior director of global demand partnerships at SiteMinder, said: “It is welcomed news for the UK hospitality and travel industry that so many UK holidaymakers are embracing travel again and keen to support local accommodation providers. A level of caution among consumers is to be expected at this time, but our latest study and data from the SiteMinder World Hotel Index show us that consumer confidence is gradually building.”

Launched in April, the SiteMinder World Hotel Index provides data on booking volume at global, country and city level.

According to the data, bookings at UK hotels sorted from nine per cent of 2019 levels to over 50 per cent of 2019 levels during the six weeks following 1 June. Bookings for hotels in Liverpool were strangest, followed by Bristol and Manchester.

Based on bookings made at UK hotels to date, 91 per cent of hotel arrivals for the second half of 2020 will comprise domestic guests. 

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