With the latest volcanic ash cloud now having passed its way through Europe most flights are back on in the UK. However, the problems with the flight industry look set to continue for a while yet. Findings just released from research conducted by Euromonitor International, suggest it will be another 6 years before the outbound travel market gets back to pre-recession levels of 2008. There were additionally some very interesting trends behind the statistics.
Caroline Bremner, on behalf of Euromonitor International, broke the bad news to delegates at the World Travel Market Vision conference in London. She told the assembled audience that figures for overseas visits taken by UK residents had fallen by 10 million in the last 2 years compared to the highest levels of 66.9 million in 2008. She went on to predict a rise to just 58.6 million by 2014 and full recovery to previous levels by 2017. Even with the numbers back up, it will not necessarily follow that the overseas travel industry will benefit from the same economic boost, with many travellers choosing to pay less for their holiday, whether they travel abroad or not.
Bremner illustrated this last point by showing the surprising rise in people booking all-inclusive package holidays, thereby bucking a consistently declining trend. It seems the savvy traveller this year is looking for value for money and for assurances that they will get home from their holiday afterwards by booking everything through a major tour operator. Clearly high profile airline bankruptcies and ash clouds have taken their toll on market confidence. The alternative is of course to holiday in the UK, as many are choosing to do and with the exchange rate favouring the Pound over the Euro at the moment, people from Europe are more likely to come here for their holidays than the other way round.
Image “airplane in sky by smemon87, on Flickr”