Tourism marketing target: holiday overspend reaches 60%

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on August 3, 2006

British travellers seem to over-indulge themselves when holidaying abroad, overspending on their holiday budget by an average of 300, according to research from Western Union, conducted to coincide with the launch of its travel cash card.

The average British holidaymaker sets aside 500 for spending money on their trip but actually spends 800, with most of the extra money being spent on food and drink. Collectively, the UK's 29 million holidaymakers going abroad overspend by some 8.7 billion each year - an opportunity for tourism marketers to target with enthusiasm.

Key findings
The survey found some interesting differences in attitudes. Consumers from different regions of the UK demonstrated very different types of holiday spending:

  • The average holiday spend in the UK is between 300 and 600. Scottish spending is the lowest (300) and the Northern Irish spend more than twice the average spend, taking 1000 with them.
  • The Welsh are the most conservative holiday spenders, as only 7% overspend on holiday, while 24% of travellers from both the East Midlands and East Anglia admit to overspending on every holiday they take.
  • While the rest of the UK prefers to spend extra money on food and drink, along with 32% of holidaymakers in the West Midlands, some 40% of Scottish travellers spend their money on bringing gifts home.
  • If there is money left over after a holiday, it tends to be in the pockets of Londoners and the Northern Irish (but only an average of 10 remains).
  • Most people go on holiday to experience a different culture or way of life. The Welsh top the culture-hungry list at 68%. However, in the North West (49%), West Midlands (55%) and East Midlands (53%) top priorities are getting some sun, sea and sand.
  • If money was no object, the most desirable holiday for the majority of the UK would be a world cruise. Holidaymakers from the South West of England broke the trend, with 36% preferring the solitude of a desert island, and in Yorkshire & The Humber 36% would rather be on a cultural city break.
  • One holiday a year is all that most people take, but travellers in the North East are more likely to take more than one holiday, with 44% going on two holidays a year.
  • The most trusting travellers come from the West Midlands, with 71% saying they feel hotel safes are secure enough to store their valuables.
  • Interestingly, 75% of British travellers said they would rather spend their money on a holiday than on Christmas.

Travel card
The new Western Union travel cash card  is being supplied by Fexco Money Transfer, and aims to make holiday budgeting easier, as well as to make obtaining and spending money while abroad less troublesome for British holidaymakers. According to Sobia Rahman, chief operations officer for Fexco, "The card will appeal to consumers such as those who have previously experienced credit card fraud while on holiday, those who wish to stick to a specific budget, and also gap year travellers who carry the card as an emergency fund."

For additional information:
·  Visit Western Union at
·  Visit Fexco MT at