2011 Holidays – What to Expect.
Pictures of a tanned Catherine Zeta-Jones and recovering Michael Douglas on a recent family trip to Florida will have turned the thoughts of many people to their 2011 holidays, particularly as Britain heads into a cold spell to rival the Big Freeze of 2009/10. British holidaymakers are not letting the recession put them off taking a holiday abroad, and the Douglas clan’s jaunt to family friendly Florida will be an example masses of Brits follow next year.
As Britain emerges not unscathed from the depths of the economic downturn, the holiday habits of its residents remain relatively unchanged. Travelling habits across the country are set to remain very similar in 2011 to those of this year and last. Travel trends change more slowly than most, so the most visited places list of 2011 will bear a remarkable similarity to that of 2010.
Two-week holidays in Florida will remain a big long haul hit with families, while single travellers will keep jetting off to Australia and Thailand. Turkey and Egypt will have the edge in the short haul holiday market, although the traditional territory of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, or the “PIGS”, shouldn’t see too much of a decline in visitor numbers. Turkey’s popularity has resulted in rising prices, which may actually have held the country back from being as popular as it could be. A relative newcomer, Croatia is a belter in terms of beaches and climate, but the high travelling prices, poor service and weak transport links put it at something of a disadvantage, which is a shame considering its unspoilt beauty and low prices once you are actually there. Bulgaria – another newcomer – is similar to Croatia in terms of landscape, weather and culture, but the cost of getting there and around is lower, thus making it a better bet for a cheap 2011 holiday.
Brits see holidays as a right rather than a privilege, with many taking up to three holidays a year. Granted, the number of holidays taken per household may have fallen in recent times, but luckily for most travel institutions, most people still expect at least one yearly break, and many will cut back on other luxuries to obtain it.
A very interesting development is a significant decline in city breaks, with people putting all their efforts – and money – into one main holiday. One particular type of holiday which has grown enormously in popularity is the all inclusive holiday. Allowing holidaymakers to set a price when booking and avoid paying anything extra whilst on holiday, all inclusive holidays can save hundreds of pounds, especially for families who might otherwise be spending hundreds on taking the kids out every night.
Speaking of kids, on the back of the latest Harry Potter release, the first of a two-part finale, searches for family holidays in Florida have increased. Could this have anything to do with the new Orlando-based attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? The Canary Islands and Greece are also popular with families, with the search figures for all inclusive family holidays there remaining consistently high. Long-haul destinations will retain their loyal following, with Dubai, the Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka stealing the top spots for luxury long-haul holidays.
We can expect a significant surge in bookings in the New Year, when the VAT increase comes in. People will take advantage of early deals and book well advance to benefit from the best prices.