Accor: UK spend on travel set to increase

UK: A survey by global hospitality company Accor of 2000 UK consumers has revealed an average spend of 39 per cent more on travel this year.

The research forms part of Accor’s Northern Europe Travel Trends Report which examines how changes in behaviour post-Covid will effect the way people travel, work and play.

Some key findings reveal that 80 per cent of respondents plan to travel in 2022, taking on average three trips during the year. 

31 per cent are seeking beach holidays closely followed by 28 per cent expecting to take a city break. 27 per cent stated they are looking for holidays in nature, with two-thirds of Britons indicating they want to travel to boost mental wellbeing and to relieve stress.

Italy has been identified as the top destination for travellers from the UK. Over half intend to travel within Europe, and of those looking beyond the continent, 18 per cent are planning trips to North America and 13 per cent to Southeast Asia.

In terms of travelling priorities, booking flexibility and high sanitary standards topped the “must have” list in 2022. 35 per cent want clearer health and safety standards with one in five willing to pay more for a hotel room if it had a recognised cleanliness certificate. 38 per cent state they are looking for flexibility on changes to bookings.

Technology will also have a role to play. 24 per cent of British travellers are expecting more contactless payment options with 16 per cent wanting to see an increase in WhatsApp customer service.

Karelle Lamouche, chief commercial officer for Northern Europe at Accor, commented: “Covid has not dampened our desire for travel, it complicated the process. Even though one in five had to cancel or postpone a trip due to the Omicron variant, people are still committed to travelling and to spending 39 per cent more than they did in 2019.

“Last year travel was spontaneous, often booked and taken within a few days. Now, post Omicron, people are planning and booking travel already for the next three years. They have much to look forward to and make up for in 2022.

“It is clear that priorities have shifted in the last two years. Sustainability factors more than ever into the decisions people make. Work/Life balance is no longer just a tag-line and travellers have a new awareness of the positive impact that travel has on their wellbeing.

“In fact, a staggering two thirds of us want to travel as a way of boosting our mental health. We expect this trend for betterment, mindfulness, and wellbeing to be part of the travel experience for years to come, accelerated by the opportunities lost to Covid. Travel is back, experiences are back and Europe is starting 2022 with optimism,” she added.

Accor launched its Apartments & Villas website in December 2020, acting as an extension for its private rental and extended stay hotel portfolios rather than a traditional entrance into the short-term rental space.

Apartment & Villas markets private residences listed on Accor’s prime rental business Onefinestay, which AccorHotels acquired for $170 million in 2016, as well as extended stay hotels across its brands such as Adagio, Mantra and Hyde Living.

The Accor Northern European Travel Trends Report can be downloaded in full here.