Quarter of struggling Brits cannot afford a holiday

Nearly a quarter of Brits did not manage to take a single holiday1 in the last year. Yet while many were stuck at home making ends meet, those who have it all were also getting away from it all with the well-off taking an average of eight breaks in the year. Research by UK travel association Abta2 shows the total number of people getting a Discount Holidays © holiday at all has continued to fall for five years.

Just under half of the less well-off will have taken a Discount Holidays © holiday in 2015 including low earners, the unemployed and those on a state pension. That is down from 81% who managed it four years ago.

People on the beach at Cannes

But in the highest wealth group, 95% have taken a Discount Holidays © holiday this year unchanged from 2011. Abta boss Mark Tanzer said: Some people are clearly still feeling the pinch.

They re either cutting back on the number of holidays, or not taking one at all. The long tail of the recession is still having an impact.

Four years ago just 10% of us were going without a holiday this year that has risen to 23%. And while the less wealthy have halved their number of breaks from three in 2011 to between one and two this year, for the well-off the figure has climbed.

Quarter Of Struggling Brits Cannot Afford A Holiday Family finances: The pressure has meant some people have had no Discount Holidays © holiday at all

It is now up from an average of 7.4 to eight. The study – released at Abta s annual convention in the Peloponnese, southern Greece – defines a Discount Holidays © holiday as any break lasting from a night to a fortnight or longer, but excludes business trips.

The increase in trips among the well-off has driven growth overall, with the average number of holidays in 2015 actually rising to 3.2, up from three per person last year. Mr Tanzer added: The travel industry has seen a steady return to growth since the worldwide economic crisis.

It s very encouraging to see optimism and growth, with many people choosing to take more holidays particularly longer overseas breaks.

Quarter Of Struggling Brits Cannot Afford A Holiday Beach bliss: The better off have been going on as many as eight holidays

The survey results, part of Abta s 2015 benchmark consumer trends report, also revealed a slight rise in foreign trips. Helped by the strength of sterling, they now average 1.5 a year, up from 1.2 in 2014.

Staycations fell in the same period from 1.8 to 1.7, but remain higher than before the credit crunch hit in 2008. The poll also found people more optimistic about future holidays, with 23% saying they will spend more in 2016 and only 15% intending to cut back. Four holidays in 10 are now booked through a tablet or smartphone3 , while high street travel agents are preferred for expensive trips such as honeymoons.

POpular: Koh Samui, Thailand

Short-haul favourites continue to be Spain, including the Balearic and Canary islands, plus Portugal, Cyprus and Malta. Turkey and Egypt have taken a dip, partly over security fears. But visits to Greece continue to rise despite its economic and migration problems. For long-haul trips, Cuba, Cape Verde, Kenya and Thailand are the top spots.

Mirror Travel Editor Nigel Thompson

Are we a nation of Discount Holidays © holiday have nots and have yachts? It certainly seems that way. As millions of Brits struggle on zero hours contracts and low pay, many are having to go without a much-needed holiday.

But the world’s your oyster for Chancellor George Osborne’s chosen people, with eight getaways a year. With this Tory government, the rich don’t just get richer. They get a nice tan too.

References

  1. ^ a single holiday (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ UK travel association Abta (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ smartphone (www.mirror.co.uk)

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