Brexit just behind terrorism in biggest influences on Brit’s holiday plans

Olivia JoynerResearch Director, Qualitative Research
January 29, 2019, 10:26 AM GMT+0

Britain’s exit from the European Union continues to cause political turmoil, and 59% of Brits see it as the biggest issue facing our country today. But will an end to free movement put people off their summer holidays?

To understand if Britons see Brexit as a barrier to foreign travel, YouGov conducted two online focus groups; one made up of parents, and another featuring non-parents, aged 18 to 40. All participants had been on holiday abroad in the last year and had a mixture of attitudes towards Brexit itself.

YouGov Qualitative Research revealed that Brexit falls some way down the list of what is currently influencing Brits when booking a holiday - behind crime and terrorism.

Enthusiasm for travelling abroad doesn’t seem to be waning. Previous survey research shows that six in ten (60%) Britons took at least one holiday abroad in 2018, and over a third (37%) took two or more. This enthusiasm for foreign travel will continue, with almost four in ten (39%) Brits definitely planning to go abroad this year. This is particularly prevalent among 18 to 24 year olds - half of whom (50%) will definitely take a holiday abroad this year.

But what are the biggest influences for Brits planning to holiday abroad?

Safety concerns such as crime and terrorism are the number one influence for Brits when planning a holiday, particularly among parents, our focus groups revealed:

“We are more wary now and would really only go to places we’ve been before or we know are definitely safe for families.” Female, parent.

“I would think twice before visiting somewhere like Turkey, Tunisia etc. due to safety concerns.” Female, parent.

Despite Brexit being the number one issue facing our country today for over half of Brits (59%), it is only the second largest influence to Brits planning their 2019 foreign holiday. Exchange rates and visa considerations are ranked similarly – both considerations which will potentially be exacerbated by Britain leaving the EU. Those aged between 18 and 25 are considerably more influenced by visa and passport issues (38% of 18 to 24 year olds) than those who are aged over 55 (22%).

“I’m worried about the cost of a visa for the EU.” Male, parent.

“It’s more likely things will cost more if the pound continues to drop.” Female, non-parent.

However, despite this, the majority of Brits are still planning to travel abroad despite major changes to Britain’s position in the EU. Three quarters of Brits are ‘no more or less likely’ to holiday abroad in 2019 because of Brexit (76%), and many actively refuse to let Brexit get in the way of their travel plans.

“If it does happen I don’t think it will stop me from travelling.” Female, parent.

“To be honest, Brexit hadn’t occurred to me in the context of holidays.” Female, non-parent.

In general, those interviewed in the focus groups expressed a lack of knowledge regarding changes to foreign travel after March 2019, and considered the media coverage of the warnings surrounding Brexit as ‘scaremongering’. Very few considered changing their holiday habits due to political changes.

Learn more about YouGov Qualitative Research.

Image: Getty