Pyrenees Holidays
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Trends in Tourism

September 2007


Why go for the international tourist?

Next to the local French and Spanish tourists, Anglophone travellers are the biggest tourist market to capture. For example, the British spend more on holidays than any other European country with the average budget set at €2579 compared to €2025 in Germany, €2006 in France and €1910 in Spain, according to a survey of 3,500 European travellers by Europ Assistance.

British tourists were found to holiday more often with 47% travelling more than once compared to a European average of just 23%. The use of the internet to book holidays was also higher with 51% of Brits booking online compared to a European average of 39% using the web.

"The survey reinforces the British public's love of holidaying and how they not only have the highest budget for holidaying but they also travel more than their European neighbours," explained Charles Walckenaer, managing director of Europ Assistance UK and Ireland. "It goes without saying that the internet now plays an integral part in the process of researching and booking a holiday."

Survey completed by research specialists Ipsos in France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Austria.

UK leads the way as the online travel market continues to rise

The online travel market in Europe is set to grow from €38.3 billion in 2006 to €55 billion by 2008, according to the “Trends in European Internet distribution report”, published by the Centre for Regional and Tourism Research in May 2007.

According to US market research specialists eMarketer, the UK slice remained the largest in 2006, accounting for 45% of the European online travel market. The two leading European markets of UK and Germany accounted for 54% of the €38.3 billion European online travel market.

UK holidays prove too costly and weather too bad

The cost of holidaying in the UK is putting holidaymakers off 'going green'. After the weather, the cost is the second biggest factor preventing Brits from having a domestic holiday as numbers of UK residents travelling abroad increased in the past year to 68.4 million visits.

Almost half (49%) of people believe holidaying in the UK is too expensive and a fifth consider that resorts are not as friendly as they are abroad. Almost a quarter of the population believes that if the UK was cheaper for things like food, drinks and accommodation they would holiday here to reduce their carbon footprint.

Research carried out by YouGov

Ski market up 3%

The 2006/2007 ski market grew by 3% to 1.2 million but the rate of growth has more than halved compared to figures for 2005/2006, when the market grew by 6.9%.

Crystal blamed this on poor snow conditions in Europe, which hit 'lates' sales in December and January, and growing publicity over environmental issues but it believes this is just a 'blip' in the recent growth trend.

France retained the number one spot with a 37.1% market share, followed by Austria with 19%. Despite the poor snow conditions in Europe, the US only grew its market share by 0.1% to 7.9%.

Source Crystal Ski Industry Report

Increased interest in the Tour de France

The first ever London and Kent start to the Tour de France led to increased interest in the cycling event, with UK visits to the Tour de France website up four-fold in the week ending 30th June compared to the week before the start of the race last year. Internet searches also reflect the increased interest, with UK searches for "tour de france" up two-fold compared to 2006.

Ahead of the race, the Tour de France London website ( ranked 5th among Cycling websites and the Tour de France website ( ranked 7th. In the week before the race last year, ranked 13th.

Source Hitwise