Jane Larcombe Communications

November 14, 2005 04:56 ET

World Travel Market UK & European Travel Report 2005

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) -

Most-up-to-date industry figures and trends unveiled at World Travel Market

* The rise and rise of the "chaveller" - holidaymakers seeking out new destinations to avoid new type of traveller
* Low cost airlines dictating how European countries perform as tourist destinations
* Europeans turn to London - Brits continue to travel

These are the key findings from the World Travel Market UK & European Travel Report 2005 in association with IPK International. World Travel Market is the barometer for the global and tourism sector and has attracted over 202 representative countries and regions to ExCeL London this week.

The rise and rise of the "chaveller"

They are 18-30, working class, have disposable income, fashion and label conscious, likely to live at home, plenty of jewellery, influenced by hip-hop and a long-haul ticket and they're frightening off the middle class traveller.

Watch out, 'The Chaveller' is about.

Brits with disposable income are turning their backs on a boozy fortnight in Benidorm for a life-changing trip to destinations such as Australia, India and Thailand.

"The prospect of going somewhere the chavs favour is too awful to contemplate for the middle classes," said Julian Rolfe project manager at Vegas, the youth division of Synovate who undertook the "Chaveller" research.

"For the middle classes going somewhere like Chile, Libya or Mozambique has real bragging appeal and sets them apart from the crowd.

"You could say the more affluent are seeking a road less chavelled."

The research shows middle-class youngsters are foregoing their traditional working break between school and higher education because of increased competition for graduate jobs, fears over university fees and student debts.

And instead, their place in the sun is being taken by 'Chavellers' who feel more able to quit their jobs or trades such as plumbing, knowing they can pick up where they left when they return home.

"Chavs tend to live at home with parents," said Rolfe. "It's convenient; they've greater freedoms than ever before and more disposable income to spend on travel.

"The Internet, and the growth of travel magazines, means they have more information available to them. And of course, they have fewer responsibilities and don't fear for their jobs. It all adds up to a willingness to take extended trips."

Rolfe said the Chavellers are unlike previous generations of backpackers because they often set out in large groups, protecting themselves from the unknown while abroad.

And the change has had a knock-on effect on the UK's chattering classes too, with middle-class holidaymakers now being forced to seek out new destinations and experiences to avoid the yobs.

"It's all about experience now, not where you've gone but what you've seen and done" said Rolfe. "The increase in tailor-made holidays, city breaks and adventure tourism is all evidence of this."

The claim is reinforced by recent research by Thomson Holidays (report: Expanding Horizons), which showed increasing numbers are seeking experience over relaxation - 65% wanting cultural destinations, 17% after wildlife breaks and 13% seeking of-the-beaten-track locations.

Low cost airlines dictating how European countries perform as tourist destinations

Low cost airlines are now the major factor dictating how European countries perform as tourist destinations.

More than half of the 30 European Travel Commission member nations have admitted getting or maintaining no-frills services is central to their future success.

The findings mark a significant shift in the way countries attract visitors. In the past, traditional package tour operators were seen as the best way of bringing in tourists.

Figures showing visitor numbers across Europe for the first nine months of 2005 seem to bear out the importance of low-cost airlines.

The UK is by far the most important market in Europe - whether in terms of total flight trips (more than 45 million in 2004), low fare air trips (18 million), or the share of low fare trips in total air trip volume (over 40).

Estonia - which is now served by a weekly EasyJet flight to Tallinn - reports UK visitors up a staggering 77% on last year. Similar leaps are seen for Poland (UK visitors up 47%); Slovakia (45.6%); Lithuania (40%) and Slovenia (18%).

"You cannot underestimate the impact low-cost carriers have now," said Enterprise Estonia research co-ordinator Piret Kallas. "The EasyJet flight from the UK has brought in an additional 19,000 visitors so far in 2005, which obviously has huge financial benefits.

"While many of the visitors might only be coming on short breaks, the good news is that they come year-round. Low-costs keep bringing people off-season, and that is vital."

Countries that have had low-cost services for a number of years, for example the Czech Republic, Germany and France, admitted to the European Travel Commission that tourism performance would be severely damaged should the carriers ever pull out.

Airline expert Robert Cain of Tourism Futures said destinations were often desperate for the short-term gain in visitor numbers, knowing low-cost airlines were notoriously disloyal to the countries they serve.

"The risk countries in Europe have now is that they cannot afford not to have no-frills services, because it makes them look much less attractive to potential holidaymakers.

"It's a very short-term view, because the airlines are always looking for the next big destination, and can drop you just like that. But the benefits of increased visitor numbers are plain to see."

The change in the way holidaymakers travel hasn't been great news for all. Destinations such as Cyprus and Malta - both without a no-frills service - believe they will suffer in the future.

"The lack of a low-cost service is inhibiting growth," said Malta Tourism Authority head of research Leslie Vella. "We appeal to the European market, but it is a shrinking market because those people want to travel low-cost."

Meanwhile, Cyprus Tourism Organisation tourist officer Andros Papageorgiou said: "There is a two-tier market in Europe now. We can only hope to attract no-frills airlines, but the distance we are from the UK makes us less attractive to them. We are at a real disadvantage."

Europeans turn to London - Brits continue to travel

European visitors have not been put off by coming to London by the July 7 bombings with growth of just under 10% for the UK capital from Europe's nine major source markets for the first eight months of the 2005.

The figures are in line with overall UK trends identified by the International Passenger Survey suggesting any fall in London visitors recorded this year will be down to decline in domestic numbers. And London continues to fare well out of long haul markets such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand as well as Central and Eastern Europe.

While holidays dominate demand for the UK, accounting for 59% of all trips by Europeans, the country continues to lead the way in terms of business and VFR traffic - 17% and 24% respectively. Of the total holiday share, short breaks (one to three nights) account for 15%, and longer breaks (four nights +) generate 45% of demand.

The increasing importance of the internet is evident in the fact that now more than half of all trips to the UK - 52% - involve an online element by either gathering information (14%) or all/part of the actual booking (38%).

Meanwhile, UK holidaymakers continue to be a major force, mainly down to the great British tradition of taking at least one holiday a year regardless of the country's economic situation.

In 2004, Brits made 59 million trips overseas, with holidays accounting for 66% of this total. VFR and other leisure trips accounted for 24% and business travel for 10%. So far in 2005 outbound volume has jumped 5% with business travel up 7%.

Overseas spending on foreign jaunts has risen 10% in the same period partly down to an increase in longer breaks of four nights or over. However, this fact must be viewed with caution since Britons are one of the major consumers of short and city breaks. Part of the growth is likely to be down to clients adding an extra day or two to their long weekend away.

UK consumers are the most web savvy in Europe with some 45% of bookings now involving an online booking element, with a further 10% using the internet as an information tool. This compares with 30% for Germany and 40% for Scandinavia. Much of this come be attributed to the UK's rapid take-up of broad band (ADSL) services.


World Travel Market takes place at ExCeL-London 14-17 November 2005. For information about the event please visit www.wtmlondon.com

World Travel Market's UK & European Travel Report is available on-line at www.wtmlondon.com

For further information on the World Travel Market UK & European Travel Report contact Simon Greenbury at World Travel Market from Monday 14 November - Thursday 17 November on +44 (0) 207 069 6032 or +44 (0)7798 650220

Julian Rolfe at Synovate can be contacted on +44 (0) 20 7017 2412 regarding the "Chaveller" research

The Moscow Committee for Tourism is World Travel Market's Premier Partner for 2005


1. Reed Travel Exhibitions is part of Reed Exhibitions Ltd. who organise over 420 events in 32 countries, serving 49 different industries in 18 key sectors, attracting over 90,000 exhibiting companies and more than 5.5 million visitors every year.

2. As a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group, the world-leading business and information provider, Reed Exhibitions is unique in offering integrated market access programmes covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet. Reed Elsevier's business titles are closely linked with Reed's exhibition activities across both geographic and industrial markets. It also has a growing portfolio of electronic publishing and information services, including LEXIS-NEXIS, the world's leading provider of on-line information services and management tools.

3. Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 14 events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, Mediterranean Travel Fair, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break and Latin American & Caribbean Incentive & Meetings Exhibition (LACIME).

4. For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions' website on www.reedtravelexhibitions.com

Contact Information

  • World Travel Market
    Simon Greenbury
    +44 (0) 207 069 6032 / +44 (0)7798 650220