Brits no longer see memorable holidays as a luxury, but an “essential part of life”, according to BBC TV and radio travel expert Simon Calder.
Calder, who is also the travel editor at The Independent and an advisor to Visa Europe, was speaking after Visa Europe released its third annual Travel Report. The study showed that UK holidaymakers spent more than £9.8 billion overseas during 2010, which was an 18 per cent increase on the previous year.
“Nothing seems to deter the great British traveller from sun-seeking and sight-seeing in ever more exotic parts of the world,” said Mr Calder. “Despite economic uncertainties at home over jobs and prices, two out of five Brits say they are determined to visit a more expensive destination this summer. A memorable holiday is no longer a luxury – it’s an essential part of life.”
The report found that UK travellers spent the largest proportion of holiday funds on accommodation, which totalled £1.3 billion in international spend in 2010. £693 million was spent by British consumers on activities while on holiday, with the average spend per trip coming in at £80 for activities and £74 on organised trips and excursions. Cheap holidays were expected to be harder to come by in 2011, with around 25 per cent of people expecting to pay more in 2011.
39 per cent of holidaymakers found that travel abroad allowed them to unwind completely and take their minds off the pressures of daily life. For those who used a holiday as a period for reflection, 29 per cent said they thought about their family, while finances were on the minds of 18 per cent of respondents. A small number of Brits on holiday couldn’t manage to switch off from work concerns, with 8 per cent thinking about their job while away and 5 per cent dreaming about a change of job.