I was interested to read in the Travel Trade Gazette that visits abroad fell by 15% in 2009 and that the number of holidays taken dropped by 7 million. That’s an amazing statistic and if you divide 7 million by the number of travel agents, tour operators and airlines in the UK that’s a considerable reduction in business for the UK travel industry.
Reading the story got me thinking whether this drop in people travelling abroad really was down to the recession like the story suggested or whether there was another reason for the decline.
My first holiday abroad was back in about 1970 when my parents took the family to Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava. Our tour operator was Clarksons and I remember that the holiday cost about £29 each ! The weather was hot and sunny as you would expect and the hotel seemed great to me at the time. There was a swimming pool of course, and I spent all my time in there.
This package holiday stuff was, of course, a novelty to everyone and it was all so easy as the tour operator had organized everything for us.40 years on from my first package holiday and things have changed considerably. Now, many people want to play at being travel agents and spend days searching for what they think are the best holiday deals. Most people are confident that they can organize their holiday themselves, although I still think an expert travel agent can save people much time and money.
But is there another reason why people are not going abroad in as many numbers? I agree that the recession is probably the main reason but is there another reason that is hidden behind the recession? I suspect the other reason is that there is not the same incentive to go abroad. Are we all bored with the sun, sea and cheap hotel and do we need another incentive to travel abroad? Are we making it too difficult and expensive to fly?Hotels and self catering accommodation abroad has improved massively and there are now more 4 and 5 star hotels than ever before as people want some luxury whilst on holiday.
Holiday destinations now offer far more than just a beach if you want it. For example, water parks, theme parks as well as an abundance of restaurants, shops and bars now all want you to spend money with them.There is, of course, more to a holiday than just a beach and sunny weather. More people now want to see the real holiday destination rather than just the tourist bits. Whether its culture, amazing scenery or meeting the people then a holiday abroad now offers us all the opportunity to witness for ourselves how other people live and see how other cultures work.If you are bored of the traditional beach holiday then maybe it’s time for you to move on to new places.
Ask a good independent travel agent where they can recommend. You will probably be surprised what they can come up with for you!
What do you enjoy or dislike most about going on holiday abroad ?
Leave a comment and let us know.
Global Holidays is the holiday specialist. Call them FREE on 0800 433 2300