Archive for category Surveys

Holiday trends affected by age for 2013

According to new research, budgets for holidays differ by up to £280 per person depending on their age. The most expensive and longest holidays are taken by those over 50 and the cheapest and shortest by those aged between 18 and 29.

TravelSupermarket surveyed 5,000 British holidaymakers on their holiday habits for the coming year. Not surprisingly (to us anyway), self-catering accommodation in cottages and villas were most popular across the largest age range. Those aged between 30 and 39 were the family focused group, and loved beach locations (37%) and villa holidays (18%).

Those between 40 and 49 were also family focused, tending to holiday with older children or grandchildren. They also loved the beach (39%) and self-catering accommodation (23%), both of which can easily be combined in a holiday cottage or villa holiday!

To read the full story, head over to our sister blog site, Villaseek.


Do you fit into these categories? Or are you outside of these age brackets and still love a good holiday cottage?


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Brits are creatures of habit

Returning to a previous holiday destination proves popular to a third or Brits, according to a new consumer survey.

33% of respondents to the TravelVision survey said that available information, or knowledge of a destination was the main reason that would prompt them into booking a holiday.

The survey, run in conjunction with the British Travel Awards, is the largest of its type and took place between July and September last year. It had a huge 479,830 responses to questions regarding travel plans for 2013.

Other responses showed that researching and also booking holidays online was a mainstay in consumer behaviour. The biggest influence on where people decided to go on holiday was through recommendation. The tradition of a two week summer holiday was less popular than previous years, with holiday makers preferring to split their time over the year with shorter vacations or weekend breaks.

The ‘grey’ and ’empty nester’ market was the most resilient in the current financial climate; with families and the new so-called ‘squeezed middle’ behaving more frugally regarding their holiday choices.


Do you return to the same area and holiday cottage? Please tell us your reasons why you like to return to a particular area or one of our holiday cottages in the comments box below. We’d love to hear your feedback.


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2012 Round up

Happy new year from all at Holiday Cottages! 2012 was an eventful and special year, with a successful Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; it all came up roses for Britain. Before we start on news in 2013, here’s a round up of the main stories we covered on this blog last year.

January started positively for holiday cottage owners, as research showed that an increased number of people were planning self-catering holidays. The future of rail travel got a boost as new high speed lines got the go ahead from the government, and quicker and easier searches were made possible by and Google Maps. However, train companies did not fare very well in a customer satisfaction survey.

February started with a cold snap and the government warned that parents could be fined if they were found to be taking their children on holiday during term time.

In April we posted about some brilliantholiday properties and also gave you a list of top things to do over Easter, many of which are also applicable at other times of the year!

The Olympic torch relay began in May, as a precursor to London 2012. We also ran two great competitions, tickets to Oakwood Theme Park and to Chessington World of Adventures.

Much speculation arose regarding the impact the Olympics would have on the UK in June. Brits changed their holiday plans to fit around the Games, no one knew if the Tube would cope with the extra visitors (by and large it did), and British Airways even launched a campaign to get people to stay at home and support Team GB.

July saw record rainfall over the space of 24 hours. In August the number of ‘nightcations’ were found to be on the rise, and the Lake District got some Hollywood visitors.

Yorkshire was branded ‘not a destination’, by Visit England in September, something which has been proved otherwise after it was named best for holidays at the World Travel Awards the following month, and most recently been made the starting point for the Tour de France 2014.

A rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages was revealed by a survey in December, and we gave you a list of some beautiful festive getaways, great for all year, not just for Christmas!


So, that was the year on this blog. What will 2013 bring? Bookmark us and find out! You can also keep track of us on our Facebook page.

For a rundown of travel news in and outside of the UK, see our sister site blog, Villaseek.




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Rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages as more parents work while on holiday

A rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages comes as over two-thirds (69%) of parents work while on holiday, according to a new survey.

Despite the demand, 82% of respondents said they would rather not work while on holiday; however 71% believed it was necessary for their business, while 14% felt under pressure from their employer , and 6% were afraid of losing their jobs.

More than 500 people responded to the Tots to Travel survey, which focused on the work/life balance of parents with young children. Astonishingly, 1.7% of parents said they would only stop work for two hours on Christmas day, with 5% stating they would only take one day off. The numbers increase on holidays aside from Christmas, with 41% claiming to work five or more hours a week while on holiday, 68% take work calls during this period, and 78% check work emails.

Holiday company founder, Wendy Shand said the results amazed and disturbed her: “We have seen a trend in our business towards families going on holiday for shorter periods and at the same time an increasing demand for wi-fi. As business owners ourselves we appreciate that many parents feel the need to keep in touch with the office while on holiday but an astonishing 40% of respondents said they worked out of habit.

“As parents of young children I believe passionately that we all need to give ourselves a break, resist the temptation of the smartphone and ensure that even if only for one week we try to forget about work and spend time with our families.”

The need for an actual holiday from work is supported in a review by the British Psychological Society, published last year. It found that holidays had a small but significant effect on people’s well being.

However, not all respondents required wi-fi purely for work (only 9%), 71% wanted it for both work and pleasure, showing that it is not all work and no play. Although, having wi-fi available in a property did increase the likelihood of  a quarter of respondents working while on holiday, perhaps showing that access is too much of a temptation.


Do you work while on holiday? Would wi-fi in a holiday cottage encourage you to book, or put you off? Please post your comments below.

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VisitBritain consultation over inbound travel

Each year the UK typically welcomes 31 million visitors from across the world. Last year alone, these visitors went on to spend a total of £18 billion. Riding on the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, VisitBritain has launched a consultation on inbound tourism with the aim of encouraging 40 million visitors by 2020 – a 3% increment year on year.

The strategy for growth includes working with the travel trade to ensure that Britain is appropriately packaged and sold to potential visitors. It also wants to ensure that visitors will find it easy to travel here by addressing the current aviation capacity and visas.

Reaching 40 million visitors would deliver an extra £8.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings at today’s prices, claims VisitBritain, adding that it would also support over 200,000 additional jobs.

Christopher Rodrigues, chairman of VisitBritain, said: “This summer has shown what the country can do when we are united in a common cause. The test now is whether we can maintain this to create wealth and jobs through a major tourism drive.

“This consultation with the industry, the public agencies and multiple Government departments that care about tourism and impact on its success has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships.”

The consultation runs until 9th November, responses can be made at



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‘Nightcations’ on the rise

Rather than the traditional one or two week holidays, new research shows an increase in Brits opting to take holidays for one night away. These are scattered across the year in order to recuperate from work stress and overtime, and so as not to be away from pressing work concerns for too long.

The research by Travelodge says that close to 37% of workers are choosing a ‘nightcation’ – one night out of town to recharge their batteries.

The statistics also show that 1/3 of Brits are working two days unpaid overtime a week, with 40% logging on to work when they get home in the evening. That is not all, one in five said they check their emails when they first get up in a morning, and an astonishing 13% of workaholics stated that they regularly wake up in the middle of the night to check emails!

Overall, London and Liverpool are the most overworked, with an average of 11 unpaid hours overtime each week. However, if you live in Wales, Manchester and Belfast, those figures might seem a little steep with an average of just over seven hours unpaid extra work each week.

The research, supported by psychologist Corinne Sweet, says that as the country is in a time of rising unemployment there is often a greater pressure to perform well at work to keep the job, which makes employees less keen to leave work for longer periods to keep up.

If you want an evening away, a long weekend, or to buck the ‘nightcation’ trend with a longer stay, look for holiday cottages here.

Brits change holiday plans for Olympics

The Olympics are proving to be very popular among Brits, as 40% have already rearranged their holidays to fit around the event.

British Airways claims it has the results from a study which indicates that Britons have cancelled or postponed their holidays because of the Games. It says the study shows that 10% have delayed booking a holiday, and one in 10 have actually cancelled their holiday in order to watch the Games at home.

Results were even more astonishing in Northern Ireland, with 89% of those surveyed stating that they would change their holiday plans to watch the Games, followed by 45% in East Midlands and 39% in London.



Are you one of the 12% driven abroad when the Olympics start?

The clock is ticking! Picture by Flickr User Ben Sutherland


Over 1 in 10 Brits will be going abroad on holiday specifically to avoid the London 2012 Olympics. 12% of the 2,018 adults asked in the ABTA commissioned poll, said they would b going overseas between 27th July and 12th August to get away from the games. Whereas 9% said they were looking for a holidays in the UK that was Olympics free.

Of those who were staying put, 30% said that they ignore the Games completely, whereas 11% are planning to take time off to watch the Games on TV, and 5% will take time off to attend events. 31% said that although they will not take time off during the events, they are excited about them nonetheless.

ABTA head of communications Victoria Bacon said: “With only six months to go until one of the biggest sporting events in our country’s history, it’s clear that hundreds of thousands, especially the young, will be taking time off to enjoy London 2012. However, for those who don’t love sports or want to escape the crowds, going abroad will provide a welcome alternative.”

The research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd, which specialises in tourism and leisure market research.


So, will you be staying for the Olympics, going away, or ignoring them? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.


UK customer service not ready for London 2012

According to a new survey, 59% of people do not think that the UK is ready to deliver top notch customer service in time for the 2012 Olymics. Customer experience analysts Sidona Group carried out the poll as part of National Customer Service Week. They tested customers experience in hotels, restaurants and popular attractions and concluded a “clear need” for more staff training.

25% said hospitality businesses only deliver ‘acceptable’ service, with 16% saying some are “simply not up to scratch”.

Good news for the South West however, 57% of those polled agreed this was the best area for customer service, while London suffered a low 20%.

Customer experience director Sidona Group Anne Blackburn said: “We are obviously not quite there yet when it comes to making sure frontline leisure and tourism businesses deliver the sort of experience our visitors expect.

“With Visit Britain estimating that tourism outside London is set to benefit by £0.62 billion as a result of the Olympics, it is critical that we get the experience right if we are to benefit long term.

“Our survey shows that getting products and processes right is just a small part of the picture. With over 50% of an experience coming from the emotions staff evoke when interacting with visitors, and this could be negative – frustrated, neglected, disappointed – or positive – valued, cared for, pleased – it is vital the experience generates the positive emotions that leave lasting memories visitors will treasure and, most importantly, share.”

She added: “To make the leap from good to excellent, all staff must be shown how to make better emotional connections with customers and to understand why this is important. This is advanced training, which understands that frontline staff, who are often low paid and temporary, are a vital piece of the picture and often the only interaction between a visitor and a brand.”


What do you think about hospitality in the UK? By the sounds of this research it might be a good idea to just stick to holiday cottages in the South West!


View of UK improving for overseas visitors

According to VisitBritain and published in Anholt-GFK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI), the UK’s image overseas has significantly improved over the last year.

Notable improvements across a number of key indicators means that the UK now overtakes France on the overall rankings to become the third most admired country globally. Respondents’ views on the UK as a great tourist destination with rich historic landmarks and a vibrant city life has improved its appeal for overseas markets with visitors more likely to visit the UK if money was no object.

Not only this, but the UK is also seen as an interesting and exciting place for contemporary culture, jumping up two spots to fourth place with music, films, art, literature and sports.

Chief Executive of VisitBritain Sandie Dawe said: “This year’s NBI report provides yet another insightful score-card for the UK. It shows that the overwhelming perception of Britain is positive and that our image is improving significantly in many of the countries in which we operate around the world.

“Particularly encouraging is the news that China and India – two vital markets offering long-term growth potential for inbound tourism – rank the UK very highly as an aspirational destination. It is our ambition to attract an additional four million overseas visitors over the next four years, and that will mean turning these positive perceptions into new arrivals.

“All this underpins how important it is for VisitBritain to increase our efforts over the coming year if we are to continue to climb up the world rankings and make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.”