Sheffield and Torquay in UK’s top 5 towns for hotel service

A recent survey has highlighted the towns in the UK where visitors are likely to receive the best hotel service.

The survey was carried out by hotel.info, a company that provides a hotel booking service backed by customer reviews, and it utilised thousands of reviews in compiling the league table. Points were awarded out of 10, and in first place with a score of 8.46 came the Yorkshire town of Sheffield. The top seaside town was Torquay in Devon with 8.21 points, and the positions in between were taken by Norwich, Norfolk, in second place with 8.39 points, Leeds, Yorkshire, in third place with 8.29 points, and York, Yorkshire, in fourth place with 8.24 points.

The figures also inferred a north/south divide where quality of service was concerned, with Yorkshire towns taking 3 of the top 5 places, while London could only muster 7.36 points, which kept it at joint 22nd on the list.

A hotel.info spokesman told the Daily Mail, ‘From rats in the restaurant to cream being poured over a guest’s head, Fawlty Towers gave Torquay a less-than-positive image, as far as hotel stays go. However, nearly 40 years have passed since then and our latest service quality survey has revealed that the British seaside favourite actually makes it into fifth position for service levels nationally.’

But the picture was not so rosy when hotel service was considered at a European level, with the UK not able to figure in the top 20. Finland and Germany were joint first with 8.36 points each, Austria was third with 8.35, and Ireland managed eleventh place with 8.12 points. With 7.56 points the UK was still well behind the Netherlands, which was in twentieth place with 7.82 points.

Hotel.info also commented, ‘In comparison with mainland Europe, the UK has a lot of catching up to do.’

 

Intrepid British tourists not easily deterred

According to a recent survey, it takes more than local unrest or even a serious incident or crime to deter British tourists from visiting their chosen holiday destination.

The survey, which was carried out by Holiday Extras, a UK-based on-line company that provides pre-booked UK airport hotels and parking, quizzed respondents on how they would respond to negative news emanating from their forthcoming holiday destination. The results showed that gung-ho Brits have no problem with prioritising their vacation over almost anything, including their own safety.

More than half of men questioned for the survey said that news of local difficulties in their destination country would not deter them from travelling, with only 34 percent saying that they would change their plans on news of a serious incident or crime.

While women erred a little more towards caution, 49 percent of them would still join their male counterparts in thumbing their nose at possible problems, and board their airplane on schedule.

Those Holiday Extras customers that said they would be deterred had varying views on how long a troubled destination should be avoided for, with 15 percent declaring 1 year, 43 percent saying 6 months, and 11 percent saying that they would be permanently put off.

Head of insurance at Holiday Extras, Andrea Clayton, said, ‘The results of this poll show how positive British people feel about their travels in the world – and this is a really good thing. Keep in mind, wherever you go on holiday and however daring you intend to be that you should always follow advice from the Foreign Office. Make sure that you have adequate travel insurance and don’t underestimate the cover that you may require wherever you go.’

The survey followed incidents of violence in Borneo.

 

A third of Brits have list of things to do before they die

According to the findings of a recent survey, more than a third of the British public have an active list of things that they intend to do before they die.

The extent of the ‘bucket list’ phenomenon has been revealed in a survey carried out by ebookers.com, an on-line travel agency, with 34 percent of the respondents to its study stating that they had compiled such a list. To facilitate this trend, ebookers.com has launched a bucket list application of its own on Facebook, to assist the listing and sharing of ideas for experiences and destinations that are considered imperative for a fulfilled existence.

The website’s users are invited to compile their own bucket list, whether it be realistically attainable or merely the stuff that dreams are made of. It can include those experiences that the individual has already ticked off, and those that they have yet to satisfy. Completed lists, and those that are still under development, can be shared and compared with groups of Facebook friends. The app is also accessible via smartphone, enabling the active ‘bucket-lister’ to update their list with thoughts and images the moment they achieve another goal.

For those who are short of ideas of their own, the app provides a number of varied suggestions.

Ebookers, social media manager, Tamara Askew, said, ‘We’re encouraging customers to try somewhere new in 2013. To make it easier for everyone to get out and do those experiences they’ve always dreamed of, we’re providing users of our new Facebook app the chance to win one of their bucket list trips. All you have to do is add one pre-existing or yet-to be-completed experience to your list and you will automatically be entered in the competition.’

 

Brits give thumbs down to Air Passenger Duty

British travellers are not impressed by the UK government’s increases to Air Passenger Duty (APD), according to the results of a recent survey.

The 2013 Flights Survey, which was carried out by TripAdvisor, a travel website that assists its customers in gathering travel information, revealed that 77 percent of its 1,100 respondents felt that APD should be scrapped. The duty is scheduled to suffer a further increase in April this year, and for a proportion of those surveyed the rise will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, with 27 percent of them saying that the cost of APD will affect their travel plans during the coming year.

The Flights Survey also questioned respondents on their attitudes towards forthcoming changes to security allowances in carry-on luggage that were originally introduced back in 2006. This will see the restriction on carrying more than 100 ml of a liquid in hand luggage revoked in April, thanks to all EU airports now having equipment available that can analyse such liquids. This advance in security technology is probably partly responsible for such a small proportion of travellers registering any concern for the change, with just 17 percent of those questioned saying that they would feel less safe when the restriction is lifted.

Emma Shaw, a TripAdvisor spokesperson, commented on the findings, ‘Flights make up a significant part of the cost of a trip and the results of this research reveal that the ever increasing cost of APD is becoming a real concern for British travellers.

And, while the liquid ban was originally implemented for traveller safety, it seems that the majority of Brits won’t feel any less safe when the restriction is lifted later this year.’

 

Technology Savvy UK Travellers Prefer Internet for Holiday Bookings

According to the findings of a survey, UK travellers prefer to book their holidays online rather than use an agent.

Trivago, a hotel price comparison website, has completed a survey of around 4,142 people during a two week period, from August 13 to 27, 2012.

Around 85 percent of respondents prefer to book their own hotels through the Internet, using a computer or a smartphone, as travel arrangements become more high tech every year. Only 15 percent of travellers from eight different countries had opted to book their holidays via the traditional methods of visiting a travel agent or calling the hotel directly.

As for British respondents, around 93 percent of participants have opted to book their hotels electronically, the largest proportion for a single country in the survey. Around 80 percent of the participants prefer to use the Internet, and 13 percent of them book via smartphone apps.

Only around 4 percent of the respondents prefer calling the hotel directly, and around 3 percent visit a travel agent.

In an earlier survey relating to hotel facilities, the company discovered that 59 percent of the UK based respondents were willing to forgo a mini bar for cheaper rooms, but only 15 percent were willing to give up Wi-Fi services for a cheaper room, which implies still further that technology is increasingly shaping the way that travellers think.

Trivago is an online search site comparing hotel rates from around 500,000 hotels, from around 100 booking sites globally, and offering more than 34 million hotel reviews, and 14 million photos.

 

Travelling Solo Is The New Trend for UK Holidaymakers

The number of people choosing to travel alone is increasing as an entirely new generation of single travellers is happily taking to the road.

New research carried out by Solo Holidays, a UK-based travel specialist for single travellers, has reported that around 60 percent of travellers, who are single and in the age group of 35 to 50 years, stated that vacations are extremely important to them.

Around 40 percent of these travellers feel that there is no stigma attached to being single these days, as the social perception of being single is no longer negative.

Stressing their need to travel, 70 percent of the respondents in the age group have reported an intention to travel for the same number of days for the next three years, despite the continuing downturn in the UK economy, while 23 percent reported that they may take longer vacations in future.

Andrew Williams, the managing director for Solos Holidays, said, ‘The singles market is the fastest growing sector in travel today, and we have been leading the way in this market place for over 30 years. Today we are seeing a rapidly growing 35-50 year old single traveller market, which no longer sees a stigma in travelling solo, and we continue to adapt our offer to cater to their needs and to ensure we remain top of our field.’

At least one in five respondents over the age of 50 years stated that they still have a ‘keen sense of adventure’ and often choose a solo holiday for added relaxation.

 

British Travellers Research for Six Weeks before Booking a Vacation

Researching your next holiday might take longer than you think, according to the results of a recent survey.

A study by a UK based online independent travel agency, sunshine.co.uk, has reported that the average British traveller spends around 24 hours researching for holidays on the Internet, before making their reservations.

The study of 1,049 British travellers that visited the company’s website has revealed that they research for around 4.5 hours every week, for around six weeks, before they actually book their vacation. This tends to suggest that a surprising amount of thought goes into a vacation before customers actually commit themselves to a booking.

According to the survey, the top five things visitors look for when booking a hotel are air conditioning (which was voted for by 77 percent); a sea view (64 percent); a swimming pool (61 percent); good food (58 percent); and that it is child-friendly (53 percent).

Chris Clarkson, the co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, said, ‘Of course it’s important to make sure you’ve booked a holiday that’s right for you and that you know you’d enjoy, but you shouldn’t over-think things when searching for your next destination or hotel to visit. You can end up overcomplicating things by being too picky and then you just end up going round in circles.

If you aren’t just returning to a destination that you know and love and are searching for somewhere new, ask family and friends for their recommendations and use that as inspiration. The most important thing is that you are getting the best deal, so it’s important to shop around or look for agents with a low price guarantee.’

 

UK Travellers Prefer City Breaks

Tourists from the UK are favouring city holidays more than ever, according to an online independent travel agency, sunshine.co.uk.

The company claims that British travellers are opting for holidays in city destinations, such as Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik, Prague and New York, in preference to taking breaks in beach or adventure destinations. Britons have booked around 37 percent more city breaks on the company’s website in 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, suggesting a change in their travel trends.

Based on the website statistics, the top 10 destinations for 2012 are the following:

1. Rome (Italy)

2. Venice (Italy)

3. Dubrovnik (Croatia)

4. Prague (Czech Republic)

5. New York (US)

6. Lisbon (Portugal)

7. Barcelona (Spain)

8. Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

9. Dubai (UAE)

10. Hong Kong (China)

The company has also conducted a flash poll of 986 UK adults, and reported that 53 percent of them prefer a city break to a beach break.

Chris Clarkson, the co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, said, ‘Beach breaks are certainly the more relaxing option, as city breaks can often involve a lot of walking and sightseeing which can be incredibly tiring. Often, returning home from a city break holiday makes you feel in need of another short break to recuperate!

Often, if you think a beach break might be too quiet for you and you want something a bit more action-packed, go for the best of both worlds. Cities like Dubrovnik are also on the coast, so you can combine the relaxing nature of a beach break with the culture and history a city has to offer.’

 

Research Shows British People Forgoing Vacations for Extended Working Hours

Taking holidays is seemingly becoming an afterthought with a growing number of British people, as they cram in as much as an extra week of unpaid work each year.

Travelodge, a UK based hotel company, has reported that one in ten British citizens are putting an extra week of unpaid labour into their work schedules, and with approximately one third of the British population working around 16 hours per week overtime, holidays are almost becoming a thing of past.

With the European economic downturn impacting on a volatile job market, the average worker in the UK is putting in 9.1 hours extra unpaid work every week to keep their bosses happy, resulting in around GBP5,276.18 in unpaid labour every year for those workers.

The study has also reported that 40 percent of workers have opted to regularly work at home in the evenings, while every third worker surveyed has put in extra hours at weekends to manage their existing workload.

Around 37 percent of these overworked Brits are regularly forsaking a long holiday for a series of one-night vacations, or ‘Nightcation’ breaks, according to the study.

Shakila Ahmed, a Travelodge spokesperson, said, ‘This year we have experienced a significant rise in just Saturday night bookings compared to previous years. To obtain a better understanding of the rationale behind this trend we commissioned research to investigate how the economic crisis is affecting the psychologies of British holidaymakers.

Our research findings have highlighted that Nightcation breaks are a growing trend amongst Britons as they are an easy to book, cost effective short break that help workaholic Britons recuperate and recharge for the week ahead.’

 

British Travellers Shirk Packing Responsibilities

British travellers allow their spouses to do their packing, while others rely on their mothers, according to the results of a recent survey released by Travelodge Hotels, a UK-based company that owns and operates hotel properties worldwide.

Around 20 percent of travellers allow their partners to pack for them, while around 10 percent of those questioned have their mothers pack for them. The study of 5,000 travellers reported that 26 percent of the respondents find packing for a journey stressful, while 21 percent have reported not having enough time to pack for themselves.

A Travelodge spokesperson, Shakila Ahmed, said, ‘We were shocked to find over a quarter of people dodging their own holiday preparation. It’s packing avoidance at its worst!

And we’re not talking about teenagers, 25 to 34 year olds were revealed to be the biggest culprits!’

Males are more likely to ask their spouses to pack for them than vice versa, the report suggested, with around 28 percent more men asking their spouses to pack for them, than women asking their husbands. Around 59 percent of the people surveyed have reported having an argument over packing, and 20 percent have admitted that packing for other family members adds stress to their vacations.

The report also suggested that people from Northern Ireland are the most organised, and that citizens from the East of England are the least organised. Around 21 percent of British travellers create a written list of things to pack, while 19 percent of the respondents simply threw in whatever came to hand without any forethought.