In its latest COVID-19 consumer tracker report, VisitBritain looks at the profiles and attitudes of various audiences according to when they intend to take an overnight domestic trip.
The mood of the nation
According to the results, the average mood of U.K. adults has increased to 6.7 out of 10, which is 0.2 points higher than its previous report, with the rise driven by a higher proportion now describing their mood as a 9 or 10 out of 10.
Despite the generally growing levels of optimism, the majority continue to believe that ‘things are going to stay the same’ or ‘the worst is still to come’ in relation to COVID-19. It isn’t until the October to December period that at least half of the adult population expect ‘normality’; a proportion that has also fallen slightly since the last results were published.
Confidence to travel
Only 12% of U.K. adults are currently confident that an overnight domestic trip booked for April would go ahead exactly as planned, rising to 20% for a May trip. Confidence that a trip planned for June would go ahead as expected has declined significantly by 33% and less than half (45%) express confidence for July trips, which is a significant decline from the 52% that felt this way in the last report. This may be due to the recent press stories speculating on a fourth lockdown by June.
The top reasons for not feeling confident about taking overnight trips in the UK are:
- Restrictions on travel from government
- Restrictions on opportunities to eat and drink out
- Restrictions on socialising
- Restrictions on things to do
- Personal finances
Anticipated number of U.K. and overseas trips compared to normal
Between now and the end of the year, nearly half of U.K. adults intend to take more or about the same number of domestic short breaks (46%) or longer breaks of 4+ nights (44%) compared to normal. A lower proportion anticipates taking more or about the same number of overseas trips this year compared to normal, within which only a very small minority anticipate taking ‘more trips’.
Planning and booking behaviours for overnight stays
In addition, U.K. adults 40% state that they have either already planned or intend to plan their next trip by this Spring (defined as before the end of June), while 33% have already booked or intend to book their next trip by then. However, one in four are not intending to either plan or book a domestic overnight trip at any point.
VisitBritain’s COVID-19 consumer tracker indicates that those intending on taking a domestic spring or summer trip are planning their overnight U.K. trips broadly in line with typical behaviour (i.e. pre-pandemic). However, they anticipate actually booking their trips significantly closer to the travel date than usual. This is especially the case for summer trips where more than twice the proportion claim they will book closer than normal to the travel date than further away from it.
From May to August, domestic overnight trips are more likely to be longer breaks of 4+ nights than short breaks of 1-3 nights, although it’s very evenly balanced for the months of May and July. However, during September, shorter trips are forecasted to be more likely.
You can read the full report here.