Research finds travel disruption deterred consumers from flying

Flight cancellations and airport delays could deter up to three-quarters of UK holidaymakers from booking travel overseas until the disruption eases.

That is according to market research firm Mintel which reports an online survey of 2,000 UK consumers found 72% said long queues at airports had put them off flying.

Spending on overseas travel this year is still forecast to exceed £38 billion, just 12% shy of the £43.3 million spent on holidays abroad in 2019, according to a forthcoming Mintel travel report based on the research.

But Mintel forecasts domestic holiday spending will be 9% higher than in 2019 at £15.7 billion, although this will still be only about 40% of the spending on overseas holidays.

Mintel predicts total holiday spending will be up by more than 60% this year on last.

It warned: “Airport chaos is proving a major deterrent [to overseas travel], as 72% of British travellers say reports of long queues have put them off flying until the situation has normalised.”

But Mintel noted: “The cost-of-living crisis is proving the biggest barrier to travel.”

The market analyst concluded: “The UK domestic travel market will fare better than the overseas market.”

Mintel found more than half of those planning to spend less on travel over the next 12 months said they could not afford to spend as much.

Almost one third of survey respondents (30%) expressed concern about Covid-related disruption of travel.

Four out of five consumers (81%) who took holidays prior to the pandemic said it was likely they would travel within the UK on holiday in the next two years.

Paul Davies, Mintel Reports UK category director for travel and leisure, said: “Inflation, airport disruption and ongoing uncertainty regarding Covid-19 are some of the challenges holidaymakers are having to deal with.

“Despite this, many are willing to overlook disruption and the impact of inflation and treat themselves to a long-awaited holiday this year.”

But he suggested: “The rising cost of living will force holidaymakers to prioritise expenditure.

“Short overseas trips and city breaks will take longer to recover as Brits prioritise their main holiday, whilst staycations and camping breaks will perform strongly.”

Mintel surveyed 2,000 UK consumers online in June.

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