DIY holidays hit traditional package sector

The internet has been singled out for a marked drop in the number of package holidays being bought by the UK consumers.

The number of UK holidaymakers booking an overseas package holiday dropped from 36% to 31% between 2002 and 2006 – a drop of 14%.

TGI, the research company behind the survey of consumer trends, said the slump had been offset by an increase in the number of consumers making their own holiday arrangements.

Between 2002 and 2006, the number of consumers that booked accommodation and travel themselves climbed from 41% to 45%.

TGI director Julian Tooke said: “Online holiday booking has seen a dramatic increase and the ease of booking one’s holiday online makes it a cheaper and quicker alternative than visiting a travel agent.”

The survey also revealed a decline in the number of UK tourists yearning for a traditional sun, sand and sea holiday.

Around 6 million people said in 2006 they would prefer a beach holiday – a drop of 10% from 6.6 million people in 2002

Tooke said: “With Britain embracing low cost airlines, it is now possible for people to visit alternative holiday destinations such as Eastern Europe with 14.1 million holiday-goers agreeing that they ‘try to go somewhere different on holiday every time.

“Whereas previously people were holidaying in Spain and Portugal, now people have more choice and may opt to travel to Poland, Estonia or Latvia instead.”

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