Recession increases appetite for travel - Eurostar report suggests more will go on holiday in 2009 than 2008

6 Apr 2009

-- 'Holidays are the new eating out' – more than one in three (36%) adults would rather not eat out at restaurants for an entire year in order to afford a holiday
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger service between Britain and mainland Europe, today launched its first Travel Report, which explores changing travel behaviour in the current economic climate. 'Travel Nation' explores consumer spending patterns in a recession, trust and value in the travel industry and the value adults place on travel.
Key findings from the Travel Nation report include:
More people plan to go on holiday this year: 68% of adults plan to go on holiday* in 2009, compared to 65% in 2008.
Holidays are the new eating out: After the home (26%), holidays came top of spending priorities (23%) - above eating out (17%), buying new clothes (17%) and entertainment (13%).
'Travel therapy' is the new retail therapy: Over a third of adults (36%) would happily not eat out in restaurants for an entire year and nearly one third (29%) would rather not buy any new clothes for an entire year than miss out on their holiday.
We live in 'Top-Up' Britain: Almost 50% more people prefer to take a number of short breaks throughout the year than one long holiday.
Exchange rate not significant for most: The report suggests that we will continue to travel to the same European destinations in roughly the same numbers as last year. Less than one in five adults (17%) identified the exchange rate as a significant factor affecting choice of holiday destination
'No-haul holidays' are on the rise: Adults in Great Britain are sticking to what they know and seeking ways to minimise risk and maximise on overall value. Half of adults (50%) will holiday closer to home (UK and Europe), over a third of adults (35%) will opt for tried and tested destinations and almost two thirds of adults (63%) will look for advice on how to get the best value from their destinations.
The rise of the 'net-set': Holiday-goers are consulting peer review sites for recommendations before booking their holidays, with almost two thirds (64%) using internet comparison sites and over half of adults (53%) using peer review sites.
Misleading advertising an issue: Two thirds of adults (66%) agreed with the statement "travel companies and operators who advertise deals that you have little chance of booking give the whole industry a bad name". 51% of adults agreed with the statement "I don't pay much attention to prices advertised by airlines because you can rarely book at those prices" and 58% agreed that they would be put off from revisiting any company which has advertised prices that have been unavailable when booking.
Richard Brown, Eurostar CEO said:"It is clear from this report that we value our holidays now more than ever, as we prioritise the need to escape and recharge the batteries. However, with all the compromises that people are making to ensure they can still get away, overall value has never been so important. We want to ensure that our customers are still able to enjoy "top-up" breaks even during harder times. We are committed to offering our customers transparency on prices and no hidden charges. We have increased availability of the £59 return entry fare by 45% over the past three months and are committed to continuing to offer great value fares throughout 2009 and beyond."
* holidays were classified as a stay of at least five nights, excluding visits to family
View the full Travel Nation Report
***ENDS***
For further information, please contact Georgina Costa, freud communications, 020 3003 6382.
Notes to Editors:
1. Please contact freud communications for a copy of the report
2. This project was carried out by Ipsos MORI. A sample of 1,000 adults aged between 16 and 64 years across England, Scotland and Wales responded to the survey. Fieldwork was conducted using an online methodology, and took place between February 27th and March 2nd 2009. Data have been weighted to the known GB population of adults aged 16-64.
3. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
4. 'Travel Nation' draws on a nationally representative survey of 1000 UK residents aged 18-64, conducted on-line by IPSOS MORI, 27th February - 2nd March 2009 and on focus group research conducted on behalf of Eurostar by Dr John Armstrong.
5. Eurostar fares start from just £59 return, with no extra charges and availability every day. Travellers can also buy through fares to the Continent from 150 towns and cities across the UK, from just £71 return from Brighton and only £92 return from Edinburgh.
6. Eurostar is the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers. This commitment is part of Eurostar's Tread Lightly environmental plan, under which it has set a target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012. Research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris/Brussels generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide of an equivalent flight.
7. Eurostar is partnered in the UK by Friends of the Earth, who work together on Eurostar's Tread Lightly environmental plan and Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk.
8. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
9. Eurostar is an entirely separate business from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
10. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.uk
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