Brits still travelling if price fits their budget

Looking further afield, less luxurious accommodation and internet bargain hunting are key trends for UK travellers, while online interest in Middle East increases

The promise of yet another wet summer means Brits will come to the Middle East...but only if the price is right. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)
The promise of yet another wet summer means Brits will come to the Middle East...but only if the price is right. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty)

Despite industry fears, 85% of Brits are still planning to holiday abroad this year, according to figures released by travel search engine Kayak.

However, the UK’s deepening recession is having a significant effect on when, how and where Brits are choosing to travel.

“Our survey revealed that, nine times out of ten, Brits are more likely to cut back on everyday luxuries than deny themselves some well-deserved time off,” said’s managing director Europe and Asia, Faisal Galaria.

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Most travellers are choosing to make a compromise to their traditional holidaymaking habits, with 66% admitting that they’re more likely to take advantage of lower off-season prices; 65% are turning to more economic destinations, such as South Africa, Iceland, Thailand and Malaysia; and 42% say they will save by trading down on the number of stars on the hotel they book.

“We’ve seen an increase in searches for destinations outside of the Euro zone and the US as the pound has weakened against these currencies. As travellers become more adventurous and go in search of guaranteed sunshine – after a succession of washout UK summers – countries in the Middle East provide almost-guaranteed year-round sun and many are less than five hours from the UK,” explained’s director of business development Annie Wilson.

“We’ve noticed a 30% increase in searches to destinations in the Middle East, and the most popular destinations that users are searching for are Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Egypt,” she added.

In addition to modifying holiday habits, the survey revealed that 92% of respondents claimed they would be searching for airfares, hotels and car rentals online, with just 0.8% set on returning to traditional high street travel agents.

“We’re finding consumers are coming to the website more often, spending more time on each visit and using money-saving tools such as Fare Alerts and Flexible Search.

“We’re seeing that Brits will travel once they find the price to fit their budget,” concluded Galaria.

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