By Hills Balfour, the London office of MMGY Global
New research study Portrait of UK Travellers™ shows that Millennials will drive overall tourism growth for 2019 and have the most positive outlook on Brexit’s impact on travel
Findings also reveal what influence children have on holiday decisions; which generation is most likely to travel overseas; and the impact of social media on holiday decisions
Adult travellers aged under 40 intend to take 41 percent more holidays in 2019 (an extra two holidays per year on average) and additionally ramp up their holiday spend by 20% in the next 12 months, according to a new study.
Portrait of UK Travellers™ is compiled by MMGY Global, the world’s largest integrated tourism marketing organisation, and looks at the holiday motivations, preferences and behaviours of the 13.4 million travelling households in the UK. Research was carried out in January and February 2019.
Over 2,000 active leisure travellers participated in a 25-minute online survey and their responses were analysed across three generational bands – Millennials (aged 18-39 in 2018); Xers (aged 40-53 in 2018) and Boomers (aged 54-72 in 2018).
Some of the behaviours most prominent amongst Millennial respondents followed logic – for instance that they are far more vested in social media than their older counterparts – but other, more surprising, results were also revealed. For instance:
- Whilst only one in ten Millennials had taken a cruise holiday in the past year, more than half expressed an interest in going on a cruise in the next two years – the strongest level of intent across any of the age brackets
- Staycations are more popular with Millennials than with Xers or Boomers – domestic holidays will account for around half of their intended trips
- Almost half of Millennials booked at least one holiday with a travel agent in the past 12 months – compared to just over a quarter of Xers and Boomers
- Whilst two thirds of Millennials believe Brexit will have an impact on holidays, this generation demonstrates the most optimistic outlook, with the majority believing the impact on passport control queues, GBP exchange rates and airline fares would be more positive than negative. This was in direct contrast to the predictions of the over-40s
- Nearly a quarter of Millennials have made a travel purchase based at least partially on a post by a social media influencer or celebrity
Despite this buoyancy around Millennials, travel businesses should not remove focus from the over-40s, since they still lead the way in a number of areas. The desire to experience different cultures is strongest amongst the Boomer generation when it comes to motivations for going on holiday. The Boomers and Xers show the most interest in visiting historic houses and gardens, museums, botanical gardens and vineyards; and whilst Millennials favour dining options that are new or notable in some way, the Boomers are the generation most keen to sample the authentic food eaten by locals.
Even more significantly, more Xers and Boomers than Millennials are planning longer, international holidays. Two thirds of future holidays planned by Xers will be overseas and last at least five days, with Boomers not far behind. Only half of the trips Millennials intend to take will fulfil the same parameters.
Family travel was another area the research looked into. Family travel accounts for around a quarter of the trips taken by UK travellers, with Xers the most likely to travel with children. When it comes to decision making, it seems that kids have the upper hand – at least two-thirds said children influenced their destination and hotel choices and four in five said they also influenced the planning of daily activities.
“Portrait of UK Travellers™ provides a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into the decision-making process of the UK traveller – something that’s incredibly valuable to travel marketers wanting to understand how and when they can best engage with their target demographic in a precise and focussed way,” says Amanda Hills, President Hills Balfour, Europe and Middle East. “The research proves that UK travellers of all ages consider holidays as an essential investment into their quality of life; and the situation is particularly bright when we look at the youngest group of travellers surveyed – those with the most travelling years ahead of them. Millennials show more enthusiasm and more diversity when it comes to their reasons for travelling, the destinations they want to visit, the activities they want to incorporate – even the companies they want to travel with – than their older counterparts. The outlook is optimistic and the opportunities are ripe for travel businesses and destinations ready to act on them.”
In addition to the topics outlined above, Portrait of UK Travellers™ examines:
- The motivating factors for taking holidays and the most popular activities for each generation whilst on holiday
- The most popular UK and international destinations for UK travellers
- Preferred travel brands, including hotels, airlines and cruise companies
- The influence levels travel agents have on different elements of a holiday booking
- The typical composition of travel parties for each generation (solo vs couple vs family)
- The factors influencing hotel choices
- Membership levels of hotel and airline loyalty programmes
- A more in-depth look at the factors UK travellers believe will be affected by Brexit
Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England
LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.
Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.
The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.
Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.
Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.
Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.
“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)
UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.
Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.
“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.
“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”
Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.
He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.
“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.
Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.
“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of Stateâ€™s (Dowden’s) assertion that the governmentâ€™s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.
Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.
It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.
The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.
Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)
Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit
By Huw Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.
“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.
Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.
Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.
The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.
“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.
Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.
The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.
It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.
“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.
“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”
Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.
“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.
A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.
“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.
The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).
“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.
($1 = 0.7064 pounds)
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)
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