11 Aug 2021
Posted in Travel & Tourism
UK domestic tourism price increases could see travelers flock to outbound operators in 2022, says GlobalData
Some UK domestic holiday and accommodation providers have increased prices significantly throughout 2021 amid soaring ‘staycation’ demand and this could deter British tourists in 2022, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Craig Bradley, Associate Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Increasing prices risks resulting in a lost opportunity for many UK tourism companies that previously had a prime opportunity to increase competitiveness with outbound tour operators. Instead, overinflated prices could effectively price them out of the market for summer 2022 and beyond, when UK travelers are more likely to venture abroad again.”
According to GlobalData’s Q1 2021 UK consumer survey, 26% of respondents cut out certain products from their budget due to the pandemic. Furthermore, in the same study, 36% of UK respondents said they were ‘extremely’ or ‘somewhat’ concerned about their financial situation, highlighting the travel industry’s need for competitively priced products.
Bradley continues: “While it has been a relief for the UK tourism industry to see domestic tourism boom this summer, it is disappointing to see companies focus on short-term rewards rather than looking at the long-term stability of the UK domestic tourism industry. Companies had a major opportunity to create a unique British holiday experience and add value in the process. Unfortunately, this opportunity risks being lost for many staycation providers due to an over-exploitative attitude towards traveler demand.”
Many potential domestic tourists have compared costs to all-inclusive European package holidays, which typically includes flights, accommodation, transfers, food, and drink, and it has been found that these holidays are often cheaper for the same exact dates as domestic holidays. Moreover, rules are being made more transparent, cancellation and refund policies have been made fairer, and many consumers are fully vaccinated. As a result, the window is closing on domestic tourism’s chance to make a positive lasting impression, and many UK holiday providers need to rethink their pricing strategy now.
Bradley adds: “With parts of Europe opening to tourists again, travelers are comparing prices more than ever. Ultimately, businesses that are overinflating charges could price themselves out of the travel market, which is self-destructive and not viable in the long term. Domestic holiday companies need to understand the competitive nature of outbound travel operators and the fierce competition they create. Jet2holidays and TUI lead the way in offering package holidays as they have substantial control over their supply chain, passing savings on to the traveler in the form of competitive prices.
“On reflection, UK domestic holiday providers’ aggressive approach to cash in on demand appears naive and short-sighted and outbound tour operators are likely to win back old customers quicker than expected as a result.”