22 August 2010

UK Travel Market Still Not Well Or Is It?

There is an unwritten rule in British Travel - that large failures usually go in twos. With the failure of both GoldTrail and Kiss, this should have removed a lot of inventory from the UK market. Not good for the suppliers but better for the Tour Wholesalers.

However there is a more disturbing problem. The UK market is down and its decline is increasing from last year. Unlike most of the other markets in the rest of the world - the UK is having a hard time restoring itself. However this does assume that the markets return in the same form as before.

Actually if you look at the stats they are pretty scary.

Let's look at the last two years (taking mid year 12 month average).
In the 12-month period from July 2008 to June 2009, the number of visits abroad by UK residents, not seasonally adjusted, decreased by 10 per cent when compared with the 12 months to June 2008, from 70.9 to 63.5 million a drop of 7.4%.
In the 12-month period to June 2010, the number of visits abroad by UK residents decreased by 12 per cent when compared with the 12 months to June 2009, from 63.3 to 56.0 million – a drop of 7.3 million.

Now let's look at a comparable statistic - just for scale purposes - lets look at Ryanair. total passengers holding in their stomachs and putting up with all the terrible things that can happen to a customer.

Jul 08 - Jun 09
Total 60.2m

Jun 09 - Jun 10
Total 69.2M

Yes dear readers - you read right. This shows that Ryanair alone now carries more passengers than UK residents who travel abroad. Well while they are not happy about how they travel - the prices are just too good to pass up and away they go to consume that wonderful 50P flights I wrote about earlier.

From this we can show that there is a fundamental shift going on in the market away from the traditional VTO/Charter market. This is not new but the impact of a down economy coupled with the rise of the LCC lift by Ryanair and of course its now many bretheren has been devastating to the traditional players. Time to wake and smell the coffee everyone. Life did change.


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