Customers are, it appears, looking to holiday abroad, with spend on airlines seeing a 37% year-on-year uplift in February, as holidays (23%), travel agencies (25%) and hotels (19%) also see some holiday cheer with spend up in 2010 compared to 2009. Bookings with Greenbee Travel (part of the John Lewis Partnership) have also seen a 20% year-on-year increase in the same period.
The travel bug is also echoed by the strength of luggage sales in John Lewis, with pieces in the Samsonite range in particular experiencing uplifts of 40% (Samsonite Cosmolite) and 120% (Samsonite Cordoba) over the past month compared to the same period last year. Sales of the Design Go digital luggage scales were also up 32% year-on-year with British holidaymakers keen to check their weight allowance before they arrive at the airport.
However despite the number of holidaymakers seemingly seeking an overseas break, it’s not all doom and gloom for the staycation. The analysis also reveals that customers are still flying the UK flag and banking on a British break – as partnership card spend on caravans/ motor homes is up significantly year-on-year (26%).
Where’s hot and where’s not…
Additional analysis by Greenbee Travel reveals a shift in Britons’ favoured destinations, as UK travellers go in search of la dolce vita in Rome, which replaces New York as the number one place to visit in February.
Marrakech and Dubai have fallen out of favour (dropping 10 and 14 places to 18 and 20 respectively) – as holidaymakers embrace Berlin, which becomes a high riser (moving five places to number four in the list), while London makes the top five.
Limassol (Cyprus) and Funchal (Portugal) are new entries in the Greenbee Travel top 10, as sun-seekers apparently go in search of some respite from the worst winter in Britain for 30 years.
John Brady, Head of Commercial, John Lewis Card Services said: “It seems our customers are eclectic travellers – but whether culture vultures keen to soak up the sights in Rome or homebirds wanting to discover more of the UK on a caravanning escape, a holiday is a must-have.”