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Special Interest Holidays - UK - March 2017

Published By :

Mintel

Published Date : Apr 2017

Category :

Travel Services

No. of Pages : N/A

The ageing of the population, in particular the Baby Boomers, is likely to be a positive growth factor for special interest holidays in the coming years as a travel-hungry generation with relatively high levels of affluence finds more time to explore its hobbies and personal passions.

Table of Content

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Covered in this Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
One in 20 holidaymakers take a special interest holiday
Figure 1: Types of holiday taken abroad in the past three years, February 2017
Short break revival is good for special interest sector
Craft revolution and wellbeing are key leisure trends
Specialist Journeys makes inroads into fragmented market
Walking, gastronomy, history and nature offer biggest opportunities
Figure 2: Hobbies and interests, February 2017
Pre- and post-family markets are key
Figure 3: Experience of special interest holidays, February 2017
Social and expertise factors rated highly
Key messages include a ‘better way to relax’ and ‘authenticity’
Figure 4: Attitudes towards special interest holidays, February 2017
What we think

ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Travel Boomers seek mental stimulation
The facts
The implications
Solo/group travel opportunities …
The facts
The implications
 but more independent styles of travel are also needed
The facts
The implications
Holidays as catalysts of educational and career change
The facts
The implications

THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
5-6% of holidaymakers take hobby-based trips
Holidays abroad remain in strong growth cycle but spending may start to fall
Short ‘top-up’ breaks favour special interest trips
Craft and wellness are key trends
Mature market potential

MARKET SIZE
Around 6% of holidaymakers take ‘special interest’ holidays
Figure 5: Types of holiday taken abroad in the past three years, February 2017

MARKET BACKGROUND
Return of short break habit helpful for special interest breaks
Figure 6: Overseas and domestic holiday volume and expenditure, 2011-16
Falling Pound yet to impact on holidays
But rising prices likely to dampen growth in travel spending
Rising exercise participation can feed into more active holidays
Figure 7: Numbers of people aged 16+ engaged in sports participation at least once a week in England, 2005/06-2015/16
UK’s most popular hobbies
Figure 8: Participation and interest in hobbies, November 2016
Dance craze
Crafty pursuits
Therapeutic play and wellness
Rising longevity offers new opportunities
Figure 9: Life expectancy at age 65 in England, 1992-94 to 2012-14
Mental stimulation a high priority for older generations
Figure 10: Leisure time preferences, by generational group, June 2015
Rise in solo living among over-45s
Figure 11: Number of people living alone in the UK, by age group, 2006-16
New forms of adult learning
Growing numbers are seeking to turn hobbies into careers

LAUNCH ACTIVITY – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Group holiday format dominates sector
Special interest tour operators
Online intermediaries
New product trends
Mainstream experience providers

SPECIAL INTEREST HOLIDAY BRANDS
Group travel/escorted tour model dominates special interest sector
Figure 12: Special Interest holiday brands who are members of AITO, February 2017
Leading brands
Others
Escorted Tour Operators
Intermediaries
Adventure brands
Other activity brands

PRODUCT INNOVATION
Special interest combinations
TV-tie ins
Celebrity experts
Age and youth
Special interest in the mainstream – Cruises
Special interest in the mainstream – Experience providers
P2P trend

THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Slow travel potential
Generational interest differences
Key demographics
Deepeners & experimenters
Meeting new people is a key element for over half of customers
Three out of four potential customers prefer a good balance
A more effective way to relax
Targeting the time-poor
Gateway to the destination

HOBBIES & INTERESTS
Slow travel/slow food combination likely to be popular
Over one in five adults regard photography as a hobby
Figure 13: Hobbies and interests, February 2017
Art history and star gazing offer niche holiday potential
Bookish breaks
Gaming holidays & hotels
Brands should play with gender expectations
Figure 14: Hobbies and interests, by gender February 2017
Hands-on, skills-based learning and sports appeal most to under-35s
History, reading & gardening have biggest over-45 appeal
Walking has widest age appeal

EXPERIENCE OF SPECIAL INTEREST HOLIDAYS
Over one in three adults have taken a hobby-focussed holiday
Figure 15: Experience of special interest holidays, February 2017
Men, under-35s and ABs are most likely groups to take a hobby-based holiday
Figure 16: Demographic profile of those who have been on special interest holidays, February 2017
Singles more likely than couples to pursue hobbies on holiday
Walking, food, history & nature have most potential for special interest holidays
Figure 17: Hobbies of those who are interested in taking special interest holidays, February 2017
Millennials are the hungriest for learning on holiday
Figure 18: Preferred holidays chosen by generational groups (rated 4 or 5 on a five-point scale), June 2015

REASONS FOR NOT TAKING SPECIAL INTEREST HOLIDAYS
Lack of awareness is a key barrier
Figure 19: Reasons for not taking special interest holidays, February 2017
Group formats may put people off
Figure 20: Reasons why people don’t want to take a group holiday, January 2014
Independent, self-guided and tailor-made opportunities

SPECIAL INTEREST HOLIDAYS – PREFERENCES
Deepeners versus experimenters
Social elements are important for younger travellers
Expertise is key selling-point
Figure 21: Important factors of special interest holidays, February 2017
Figure 22: Important factors of special interest holidays, rated 4 or 5, February 2017
Majority prefer a balance of hobby and other holiday activities
Singles prefer budget accommodation
27% of customers would go alone/as part of a group holiday
21% of those living in a couple would prefer to take a hobby break without their partner
Figure 23: Preferences for special interest holidays, February 2017

ATTITUDES TOWARDS SPECIAL INTEREST HOLIDAYS
Hobbies on holiday can help people unwind more quickly
Time-poor employees with kids are attracted by chance to re-focus on hobby
Figure 24: Attitudes towards special interest holidays, February 2017
Holiday as career change catalyst
Special interest can create a deeper experience of destination culture
Consumers want more information on astronomy, art, language & creative holidays

APPENDIX
Definitions
Abbreviations

List of Table

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