Where are British parents going for summer holidays?
June 8th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Where are British parents going for summer holidays?

With the end of the school year imminent, summer holidays are on the minds of students and parents. Where do British parents plan to go this year? YouGov DestinationIndex is a tool that tracks consumer attitudes towards different travel destinations along 16 different metrics. Purchase Intent measures of how likely consumers are to choose a destination the next time they plan a trip. Below are the top destinations chosen by adult Britons with children aged 18 years or younger in the household, as measured in the last three months.

Continental getaways are at the top of British parents’ minds. Europe is home to six of the top ten destinations for this group. Number one is Spain, with 17% of Britons saying they’re most likely to head there next time they’re in the market for travel. About a tenth of British parents say they’ll choose each of France (10%), Greece (9%) or Italy (9%).

There also seems to be some truth to the dictum, “there’s no place like home.” After Spain, domestic holidays are the next most popular, with 14% saying their next trip will be within the UK.

Why are these destinations so popular? DestinationIndex tracks several metrics that provide more granular insight into travellers’ preferences. The chart below compares the top three destinations according to Quality, Impression, Value and Satisfaction.

UK parents destination radar chart

Spain has the lowest of the three at 21, though the scores are very close. France is second with 22 and the UK tops the list with 23, meaning that the highest proportion of Britons believe that the UK represents good rather than poor quality. It’s worth noting that this does not mean that these destinations have the top Quality scores of all destinations tracked by DestinationIndex (that title is held by Canada at 30), just of those with the highest Purchase Intent.

While the UK, Spain and France are similar in Quality, they are quite distinct when it comes to Impression, a measure of positive or negative consumer feelings associated with a destination. Spain, with an Impression score of 51, has a significant lead over both the UK (42) and France (34), meaning that overall, Britons have the most positive feelings about Spain. When it comes to Customer Satisfaction, Spain (52) and the UK (50) are nearly tied, and lead France (37) by a significant margin.

The metric that truly sets these three destinations apart is Value. Value is another net score which represents how many consumers believe the destination represents good versus bad value for money. Even though many Britons choose the UK as a travel destination, they grant it a relatively low Value score of 4. This is less than half of France, which has a score of 11. Spain truly stands out with a value score of 26, which is more than twice that of France and more than six times that of the UK.

More Britons plan to visit Spain, the UK and France than any other destination tracked by YouGov. While Britons have similar perceptions of the quality of these three destinations, they set them apart on other metrics. For example, Britons are less satisfied and have less positive feeling associated with France than with their home country or Spain. Yet it’s Spain’s tremendous value for money that makes it Britons’ destination of choice.

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YouGov DestinationIndex tracks consumer perceptions toward travel destinations on a daily basis in 30 countries worldwide.

A destination’s Purchase Intent score is based on the question: “Of the destinations considered, which are you most likely to visit? “

A destination’s Quality score is based on the question: “Which of the following destinations do you think represents GOOD/POOR quality?”

A destination’s Value score is based on the question: “Which of the following destinations do you think represents GOOD FOR MONEY? By that we don’t mean ‘cheap,’ but that the destinations offer a visitor a lot in return for the price paid. / Now which of the following destinations do you think represents POOR VALUE FOR MONEY? By that, we don’t mean ‘expensive,’ but that the destinations do not offer a visitor much in return for the price paid.”

A destination’s General Impression score is based on the question: “Overall, of which of the following destinations do you have a generally POSITIVE/NEGATIVE impression?”

A destination’s Customer Satisfaction score is based on the question: “Of which of the following destinations would you say that you are a SATISFIED/ DISSATISFIED visitor?”

All of the above are delivered as net scores between –100 and + 100.

Data referenced in this article from surveys of adults aged 18 years and above residing in the UK between 26/02/23 to 25/05/23. Learn more about DestinationIndex.