Internet powers massive DIY holiday growth – TravelMole true

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Internet powers massive DIY holiday growth

Tuesday, 05 Nov, 2004 0

The value of independently booked holidays is set to soar by almost 80% to more than £21 billion in five years.

The prediction comes today from Mintel which estimates that UK expenditure on independent holidays has more than doubled from £5.5 billion in 1998 to £11.7 billion this year. The number of independently booked breaks has risen by 60% since 1998.

So-called DIY holidays now account for more than half of the market, with 24 million expected to be booked this year, up from less than 22 million in 2003, according to Mintel.

Almost two in four adults (38%) booked a holiday independently in the last year against one in four (25%) who booked a package.

Mintel predicts that component-based holiday sales will rise by 78% to reach a value of more than £21 billion by 2009.

About 40% of people who booked independently arranged their holidays on the internet, with less than three in 10 (27%) using a travel agent. Men (31%) were far more likely to use a travel agent than women (24%), Mintel says.

The market research company’s ‘Independent Holidays in the UK’ report claims the “archetypal package holiday” has lost out to the more modern independently booked trip.

People’s holiday tastes are also changing, with “an interesting landscape” (42%), “experiencing a different culture” and “cities, heritage or architecture to see” (both 40%) making up the top three holiday wishes, following “a place to relax and unwind” (61%). These preferences were ahead of “a beach or pool” (36%), “familiar food” (13%) or having “other Brits around” (7%).

Mintel senior leisure analyst Silvia Bartels said: “The increased popularity of independent holidays owes almost everything to the internet.

“Essentially, the internet has brought the travel agent to most people’s sitting rooms and it can no longer be argued that booking a package holiday is necessarily more convenient, as the greater use of the internet has simplified the process for the independent traveller.

“Low cost airlines have also helped, especially as three quarters of all independent holidays are taken from the UK by air.”

Ms Bartels added: “Most significantly, the internet was used by independent holidaymakers more often than any other method when purchasing the holiday.

“As there is a clear connection between independent holidays and short breaks, it is likely that a large proportion of these consumers accessed the low cost airline websites or even one of the popular third parties for travel, such as lastminute.com, expedia.co.uk or Travelocity.co.uk or scheduled airline websites such as British Airways.

“The internet will continue to play a large part in the distribution chain of all holidays, but in particular independent holidays. Consumers are certainly becoming more confident in booking their transport and accommodation separately.”

*The ‘Independent Holidays in the UK’ report is available from Mintel for £995.

A panel of top speakers has been confirmed for the next TravelMole Fast Conference discussing the subject ‘Maximising Your Internet Presence to Increase Sales’. The event is on November 16 at the New Connaught Rooms in London from 16.00-18.00. For details, a list of speakers and to register go to www.travelmole.com/fastconferences or call 020 7691 3292. The price is £99 for delegates, reduced to £59 for tour operators and agents, and £49 for students.

 

 

Report by Phil Davies 

 

  

 

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Phil Davies



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