3/4 of people in Ireland planning to holiday this summer

Overseas holidays trump staycations in “value for money” stakes

5 in 10 Irish people haven’t had a holiday of any sort in the last two and a half years, but more than 7 in 10 say they will break this holiday hiatus this year. According to a nationwide survey commissioned by Aviva Insurance Ireland (Aviva) of 1,200 adults nationwide1, 8 in 10 people feel that holidaying in Ireland provides less bang for your buck than holidaying abroad, when the cost of travel, accommodation, food and drink are taken into account.

The Aviva Travel Survey 2022 looked at four key components when it comes to people’s holiday plans and experiences.

  • The cost of holidaying in Ireland compared with overseas
  • Holiday plans for 2022
  • Holiday experiences since the beginning of the pandemic
  • Reluctance to travel and reasons why

Highlights from the Aviva Travel survey included:

  • 9 in 10 young people (18-24) favour overseas holidays when it comes to value
  • 5 in 10 people have not holidayed at all since the outbreak of the pandemic
  • The numbers intending to holiday this year are highest amongst 18–24-year-olds, 94% of whom say they’ll be going on holidays this year, followed by 73% of those over 55 -significantly higher than the national average of 57%
  • Just 1 in 4 people have travelled overseas since Covid hit
  • 53% of males say they haven’t holidayed yet, compared with 41% of females
  • 49% are reluctant to book a trip overseas but the reasons vary from being concerned about the actual virus, to concern over restrictions, to a reluctance to have to fill out all the necessary checks and balances.

Speaking of the findings, Billy Shannon, Aviva commented: “Our indigenous travel sector has taken a battering over the last two years, perhaps surpassed only by the hit taken by the airline industry. So, it’s great to see that a huge number of people (75%) are planning to make up for lost time in the travel department this year and that 31% are going to do both overseas holidays and staycations. 

“People are gaining confidence in travel again, which is not just great for the individuals themselves, but also this positive consumer sentiment is very much needed for the hospitality and airline sectors – and the people who work in them.”

Value for Money

According to the Aviva survey, 8 in 10 people believe holidays overseas are better value, with those in the 18 – 24 years age bracket being most likely to favour overseas holidays when it comes to value at 89%.

Billy Shannon continued: “Unfortunately, Ireland is experiencing huge inflationary pressures, the impact of which can be heard loud and clear in the survey responses, with the vast majority of respondents believing that there is better value to be had overseas although most countries are not immune to inflationary pressures.

It is no great surprise as the hospitality sector is facing enormous challenges to remaining competitive for tourists at present. It is being battered from all sides, with SMEs in particular facing a very rough road to recovery this year. Inflationary pressures are driving up costs, with overall inflation estimated to have risen by 8.2% according to Eurostat in the year to May 2022 from 7.3% in April and higher than the Eurozone average².

Billy Shannon, Aviva

Labour shortages and wage growth are playing no small part on top of this and supply shocks from the pandemic are being compounded due to the war in Ukraine. We have also seen the end of state business supports such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, which had been a lifeline to the hospitality sector throughout the pandemic.

Billy Shannon, Aviva

“However, these problems are not exclusive to Ireland - all countries in the Eurozone are experiencing rising inflation, and perhaps it’s the case that people are simply unaware of how much travel, accommodation, and food and drink costs are rising in other countries also.”

Impact of the Pandemic

“Almost 50% of people have taken no holidays whatsoever in the last two years. Although this is understandable given what we have been through, holidays are a great way for people to power down, to get a change of scenery and perspective, and they can have a really positive impact on our mental health.

“Judging by the survey results and experience on the ground, it is definitely expected that there will be a marked rise in the number of people holidaying this year both in Ireland and overseas. According to the CSO, as a nation we took approximately 5.7 million trips overseas for the purpose of holidays, leisure, and recreation in 20193. We would hope to see numbers start to recover significantly this year, which will be hugely important for our indigenous hospitality sector and for the airline sector – both of which have been relatively stalled for the last two years.

“There is still hesitancy among travellers, despite much of the Covid travel requirements now being lifted for very many countries. Women are more concerned with catching the virus while on holidays than men, at 22% as opposed to 15%. But overall, it’s great to see people making travel plans, and bouncing back this year in that regard. There are significant challenges post-Covid for the tourism sector as a whole, right throughout Europe as well as in Ireland. Incentives such as the VAT reduction to 9% for the hospitality sector, which was recently extended until end-February 2023 by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will go a long way to provide them with additional support”, concluded Billy Shannon.

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Aviva Group Services Ireland Limited, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No.322579. Registered Office: Cherrywood Business Park, Dublin, Ireland, D18 W2P5.