Internet accounts for 43% of UK travel spend


According to price comparison site Kelkoo, travel expenditure in the UK will reach ?669 per person or ?41.1bn in 2010. This is a ‘modest’ ?1bn (+2.4%) increase from 2009, when travel sales dropped ?3.7bn (-8.4%) from the pre-recession level of 2008. The latest Kelkoo Travel Index, compiled on its behalf by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, also suggests online travel bookings will again outperform the market.They are forecast to rise by 13% year-on-year to ?17.6bn, accounting for 42.8% of all UK travel expenditure in 2010, following last year’s growth of 18.5% to ?15.6bn.A second study for Kelkoo, by YouGov, asked 2,229 UK adults about the relative importance of ten criteria used to select a holiday destination.Price at the destination topped the list, cited by 87% as being important, followed by the cost of accommodation (86%) and flights (82%), security (81%), climate (78%), food quality (77%), tourist attractions (65%), the exchange rate (61%), flight length (41%) and time difference (9%).The results of this survey were combined with official statistics on the ten criteria to determine the ‘Kelkoo Beach Index’ of best destinations for UK travellers in 2010.Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast came top with a score of 70.98 out of 100, ahead of North Tunisia (69.1), Antalya (68.72), Sharm El Sheikh (66.16), the Algarve (65.81), Goa (62.85), Dubrovnik (62.57), Larnaca (58.94), Crete (58.94) and the Balearic Islands (58.47).Bruce Fair, managing director of Kelkoo UK, commented: ‘In the current climate, British holidaymakers seem to be more cost-conscious than ever.‘Although Bulgaria, Tunisia and Turkey may not automatically spring to mind when choosing the top beach holiday destinations, they appear to fit the bill most closely when it comes to delivering against the criteria that matter most to UK holidaymakers today – value for money and affordability.’Rio de Janeiro and Sydney ranked lowest of the 20 destinations, scoring just 25.23 and 17.79 respectively, largely due to the cost of flights and accommodation.