Survey: duty free resistance

By Administrator |

A new Visa Europe travel survey of 1,077 'nationally representative' British tourists claims that 42% say 'they will not spend a penny on duty free as part of this year's holiday' and nearly one in

five do not plan to bring back any gifts for friends or family. The report also notes that the biggest complaint relates to 'getting ripped off at the airport before departure' with 35% saying that the cost of food and drink is 'the most annoying aspect of flying from a UK airport'.

The research for Visa Europe was carried out online by Opinion Matters/Tickbox.net between 21.05.09 and 03.06.09 and involved British tourists who are holidaying abroad in 2009.

On planned F&B and duty free spending amongst respondents it noted the following: ‘We are least likely to cut back on food and drink when on holiday. An equal proportion will spend either up to ?25 or between ?25 and ?50 on duty free goods (19% each). Only 12% will spend between ?51 and ?100, with under 5% spending up to ?250 on duty free items.’
More boradly it says that while 25% admitted that they always tried to negotiate a better price for their holiday, some 39% added that they would 'blow the budget' and nearly two thirds (63%) said they would overspend by up to ?200 ($338) a week.

The Visa Europe Holiday Report also revealed that over a third of respondents said they plan to take at least two holidays this year, with 60% heading for a beach-based break. Over one in five (21%) said they were planning to take more holidays than last year, with the average break time hovering between 11 and 14 days.

More than half of those surveyed said they expect to spend at least ?600 ($1,000) on travel and accommodation this year, with a further ?250 ($423) a week on eating and drinking. The report adds that lounging around the pool appears to be top of many wish lists and while respondents said that they planned to enjoy themselves, nearly one in five said that they do not plan to bring back any gifts for friends or family and 42% said that 'they will not spend a penny on duty free as part of this year's holiday.'

Amongst the respondents, women claimed to be more careful with money on holiday than men, with 57% of females saying that they expect to underspend by up to ?200 ($338) compared to 38% of males.

The report also notes that 'the package holiday is in danger of dying out' with nearly half of those surveyed (42%) saying that they now choose to book their flights and accommodation separately. Only 22% of those surveyed said that they would be booking a package holiday and a third said that they book their holidays at least three months in advance, while more than half (56%) spend time researching different options to get the best price.

Airports also came in for some criticism, as the report notes: ‘We complain most about getting ripped off at the airport before departure. Flight delays are the second most annoying aspect for a quarter of travellers. This is followed by overcrowding (10%),bad customer service (6%), uncomfortable seating (6%) and poor airport design/layout (2%). Only 7% of people asked were content with their experience at British airports.

‘Gatwick emerged as the most popular departure airport for people flying off on holiday this year (21%), followed by Heathrow (18%) and Manchester (17%). The cost of food and drink is seen to be the most annoying aspect of flying from a UK airport, cited by 35% of people.’

The report also contains detailed breakdowns on the numbers of holidays that respondents from various parts of the UK plan to take this year and notes that 83% are planning to take a plane, 10% will travel by car, 3% by boat, 2.5% by train and just 1% by coach.

‘Around 15% of holidaymakers have budgeted to spend up to ?400 per person, per week; 10% up to ?500 and 8% up to ?600. Almost half of those polled will budget to spend between ?100 and ?300 each per week's holiday. Only 8% intend spending less than ?100 a week when they are away, while 3% will spend up to ?700.’

[Any TREND readers who would like a PDF copy of the full report can email Doug Newhouse at [email protected] and this will be sent by return].

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