British Travellers Select Self Designed Holiday Packages For 2013

British travellers are increasingly opting for holidays packages designed by themselves, rather than by travel agents.

Recent research by HomeAway, a UK-based online vacation rentals company¸ reported that holiday rental sites have registered a steady increase in booking queries worldwide, with the maximum increase reported from Germany (71%), Holland (44%) and Croatia (24%) since last year.

A study by Radius Global Market Research pegs the holiday rentals market in the UK at around £4.7bn, while Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) had collectively a holiday rental market valued at £20.7bn in 2012.

Andy Cockburn, the regional director of HomeAway UK, said, ‘Holidaymakers have significantly decreased their dependency on the traditional travel agent for holiday bookings along with the no-research-required package holiday that they traditionally offer.

The desire for self-tailored holidays means holidaymakers seek properties that offer more luxurious hotel-style standards and bespoke services. This could be anything from a butler, private photographer or concierge to babysitting and housekeeping services. Today’s holidaymaker is very discerning. There’s much more focus on interior design within holiday properties, too, yet rental prices still remain competitive by comparison.’

Euromonitor, a market research company, earlier reported that ‘Travel retail value sales fell again in 2011, down by nearly 3% to just over £25 billion. This continues to be a result of rising cautiousness of UK consumers, who on the back of ongoing difficult economic times are tightening their spending on the less essential luxuries in life, such as holidays and generally spending smarter.’

The top three destinations for British travellers booking holiday rentals in 2012 are Holland, which celebrates 400 years of the canal ring in 2013, and may be reached from London by train in four hours; Montenegro, currently connected by a newly launched direct flight from UK; and Sweden, where the government is investing £5.3 million on tourism over the next five years.