The Brexit vote in June should have been a boon for holiday cottage owners, Center Parcs and Butlins.
Travel experts expected British holidaymakers to rediscover the delights of the traditional British seaside holiday following the post-Brexit slump in the pound against all major currencies. After all, spending your two weeks in the sun lamenting the paltry amount of holiday money that sterling can buy you makes the whole thing much less relaxing.
But that was then, and this is now. Almost a year on from the historic vote to leave the European Union, we have figures showing that British demand for foreign travel remains strong. We can expect to see continued robust demand for travel money in the coming months.
Across all age groups, foreign travel remains popular, with only a low single digit percentage of people stating that they won’t be travelling abroad this year.
Respondents who said they are not travelling abroad this year, (by age)
What’s more, reports that recent strong currency sales are a ‘Pre-election bounce’ which may lead to a slump in demand after June 8 appear to have been overdone. Last month, the Post Office attributed strong demand for travel currency to a pre-election rush.
The travel money giant said that online currency sales were up around 47 per cent on the previous year, and said that travellers were buying money in advance of the election to spend later in the year.¹
However, our figures suggest that many people are in fact holding off from buying their travel money, because they believe that the pound will strengthen once the election result is known.
The percentage of people who said they were deliberately holding off on currency purchases was higher in all age groups than the percentage of people who had deliberately bought in advance of the election. Younger people are more likely to be holding out until after the election, with almost a fifth of 25-34 year olds delaying their currency purchases because they believe that the pound will strengthen.
Percentage of respondents who are holding off for a strengthening
pound after the election (by age)
Percentage of respondents who have already bought because they believe the pound will weaken after the election (by age)
“It is good news for the industry,” says Andrew Buller, Key Account Director at Consumer Intelligence.
“Our insight shows that the strong Spring demand for foreign currency is far from being a pre-election bounce. Instead, the rush for more travel money seems to indicate that many more people are planning a holiday abroad this year. The figures seem to indicate that many more people will come forward after the election to purchase their travel money – evidence of a strong market.”
Buying travel money is an important part of many people’s holidays abroad, and Consumer Intelligence’s survey shows that travellers are becoming more price sensitive, perhaps due to the slide against the dollar and the euro.