Findings by Abta will be good reading for holiday firms, showing the high value many Britons place on getting away.
The association’s annual survey indicate that eight out of 10 Brits took a holiday in the UK or abroad in the 12 months to August.
Abta says: “The results are on a par with a year ago and confirm a significant minority believe a holiday is ‘a necessity’, with one in five (21%) feeling this way about a longer overseas holiday and one in ten (11%) a holiday in the UK.”
More than a quarter (26%) of respondents over 55 saw a longer holiday overseas as a necessity. At the same time, holidays were the discretionary item respondents felt least willing to cut back.
The survey also found that people would rather cut back on other leisure activities than the chance to take a break. It wasn’t all good news, however, with the average number of holidays taken per person down on last year.
Respondents took an average 3.1 holidays in the UK or overseas in the 12 months to August, down from 3.5 holidays in the previous 12 months. Only those aged 55-64 bucked the trend by taking more breaks per person in the period.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The heatwave undoubtedly had an impact on the lates market. After many poor summers in the UK people chose to enjoy the weather at home.
“However, there is more optimism for next year with a greater number of consumers anticipating they will spend more on holidays than those anticipating they will spend less – a shift in attitudes compared with last year.”
He added: “It’s clear Brits are keen to preserve their main annual holiday.”