Consumer survey sheds light on plans for trips and visits

The latest UK Consumer tracker survey conducted by VisitBritain between 19 and 23 April provides a wealth of findings related to tourism and travel.  Overall, the results present evidence of increasing public confidence in planning trips around the country, based on optimism that ‘the worst of the pandemic has now passed’ – stated by two in five UK adults – due in part to the success of the vaccine roll-out.

Of specific relevance to the attractions sector are the results on consumers’ interest in, and engagement with, indoor and outdoor venues and activities.  The results not only reflect public awareness that the risk of COVID-19 infection transmission is at its lowest outside, but also highlight the degree of caution that exists regarding indoor public spaces. The key points were that:

  • Most likely to attract fewer visitors/engagement than normal are ‘predominantly indoor attractions’, followed by ‘catering, entertaining and events’, then ‘health or wellbeing activities’.
  • Most likely to attract more visitors/engagement than normal are ‘outdoor areas’, followed by ‘outdoor leisure or sports activities’, then ‘outdoor attractions’.
  • Engagement levels for outdoor areas and activities have dipped since the last wave of COVID-19, although they continue to generate positive levels of intent.

VisitScotland’s summary of the survey’s Scottish findings highlight how many people intend to take holidays in Scotland or make trips throughout the country. The summary notes that:

  • One in seven UK and Scottish adults anticipate taking an overnight trip in the UK in spring. Of those planning to take a trip, 62% of Scottish residents plan to take their overnight break in Scotland in spring, with 60% planning a summer (July – September) break.
  • Many Scottish residents are only considering Scotland as their destination from now until the end of summer. The next most loyal audiences for choosing Scotland are those in the north of England, in particular the north west.
  • Around two in five (42%) people who intend to travel in Scotland in spring currently planning their trip, and just over a third having booked it.
  • One in four (26%) have started planning their summer trip with one in five (21%) having booked it. Generally, there’s still a tendency for people to be planning further ahead than normal but booking significantly closer to the travel date (though this may be different for certain types of accommodation in specific locations with high demand).
  • The Highlands is the number one destination for both Scots and UK residents. The west coast is noticeably more popular for Scottish residents, while Edinburgh is more of a draw for non-Scots, amongst whom it is the second most popular destination (almost three times more popular than amongst Scots). 

You can read VisitScotland’s summary of the Scottish findings of the UK Consumer tracker survey here. The complete survey findings can be accessed here.