London, June 16, 2008 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual summer travel survey of more than 4,000 travellers worldwide. Despite, or perhaps because of, gloomy economic predictions, our appetite for summer holidays remains undiminished. Compared with the rest of the world, rising fuel costs and poor exchange rates are less likely to have any major impact on the majority of Brits’ plans to make the most of a summer break.
The Fuel Effect
Despite soaring prices, only 21 percent of British travellers said the high price of fuel will affect their travel plans this summer, compared with 41 percent of worldwide travellers.
Similarly, only 21 percent of British travellers said they will take fewer car trips to save on fuel, compared with 31 percent of all travellers, and just 10 percent of British plan to take shorter-distance car trips to save on fuel, unlike 15 percent worldwide and 18 percent of U.S. respondents.
The Exchange Impact
The fall in the value of the pound against the euro seems to have had slightly more impact.
Thirty percent of British respondents said currency exchange rates are affecting their summer travel plans and as a result, 38 percent say they will travel to a destination that has a more favourable exchange rate and 26 percent will be staying at less expensive accommodation.
Sixty -two percent of British respondents plan to take half or more of their annual holiday entitlement this summer with 19 percent taking all of it. Sixty-one percent will be taking the same amount as last year, while a quarter will be taking more time off this summer. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Brits will take a two- to three- weeks break and 10 percent will have three to four weeks off this summer.
A quarter of us expect to spend more money on our summer holidays this year, while just over half (52 percent) say that they will spend the same as last year.
Excluding transportation and accommodation, the majority of Brits plan to spend the greatest amount of money on their summer holidays this year on restaurants (50 percent), followed by tours (12 percent). Five percent of spending will go on clothing, while only two percent will be allocated to souvenirs.
Seaside holidays continue to be the most popular worldwide, with 61 percent of travellers intending to visit a beach destination this summer. Cities (49 percent) and lakes and mountains (31 percent) were second and third most popular destination types. The most popular summer vacation activity, according to 66 percent of travellers, is just relaxing. City sightseeing, shopping, and visiting a national park are the next three most popular activities during the summer holidays, according to respondents.
Nineteen percent plan to go hiking, 14 percent intend to go camping and nine percent will go biking this summer. Twelve percent plan to go sailing/boating and 11 percent expect to go scuba diving/snorkeling. Five percent said they will participate in adventure sports, such as whitewater rafting and parasailing.
Said TripAdvisor European communications manager, Ian Rumgay, “A summer holiday is a must-have for the British public. It may be a last hurrah but seems that we are determined to have a good time this summer, no matter what the cost.