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Brits search online for travel bargains

Web takes over from travel agents

[March 23 2009]

Booking holidays online

As the recession bites, a new survey has found that the majority of Brits still plan to travel abroad this year but they will head online to book rather than to high street travel agents.

The 2009 Travel Outlook survey released today by global travel search engine, Kayak.co.uk, surveyed over 1,000 UK users on their holiday plans, 85 per cent of whom said they were planning to go overseas.

Findings revealed that 92 per cent of respondents plan to search the web for the best price for flights, hotels and car rentals. Less than one per cent said they would go to the high street for the best deals.

Growing more cash-conscious in hard times, the poll found that British holiday-makers are focusing on staying in budget (32 per cent) more than having fun (24 per cent) or protecting the environment (1.5 per cent) when booking their travel.

The most popular ways for stretching summer budgets include travelling off-season (66 per cent); looking at destinations offering better value than Europe, such as South Africa, Iceland, Thailand and Malaysia (65 per cent); staying with friends or relatives (46 per cent) and trading down hotel star rating (42 per cent).

Faisal Galaria, managing director Europe and Asia for Kayak.co.uk, said:

“As a nation we’ll always be obsessed with getting away from it all, even when times are tough. In fact, our last survey revealed that nine times out of ten, Brits are more likely to cut back on everyday luxuries than deny themselves some well-deserved time off. Kayak.co.uk traffic is not suffering.

"In fact, we’re bucking the industry trend and finding consumers are coming to the website more often, spending more time on each visit, and using money-saving tools such as Fare Alerts and Flexible Search. We’re seeing Brits will travel once they find the price to fit their budget.”

Most Brits are still opting for convenience over price when considering departure airports though. Over half (59.7 per cent) of those surveyed would happily pay an extra £50 to fly from their closest airport.

Written by: Maxine Clarke

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