Domestic Tourism Industry Snapshot Survey 2017 – the results are in

The second Domestic Tourism Industry Snapshot Survey, completed before and at the British Tourism & Travel Show by operators, DMOs, visitor attractions, destinations and hotels, showed continued positive growth for the sector and upbeat opportunities ahead.

The survey found that 67% of respondents saw an increase in domestic visitor numbers and bookings in 2016, and 57% of the GTOs, attractions, destinations, hotels and other suppliers who completed the survey think that customer spending habits will improve over the next year, and 78% are feeling either very or fairly optimistic about the future of the domestic travel trade.

A general consensus is that Brexit will continue to have an influence on future consumer spending (with mixed opinions on the actual impact of the Brexit vote on business’ prospects).  When asked specifically about the Brexit vote: 39% said last year’s referendum result had no discernible impact on their business, while 28% reported a positive impact.  The remaining 33%, many of whom also cater to the outbound tourism market, said it was already having a negative effect.  Notably, many respondents commented that it may be ‘too early to tell’ the full impact.

As one may expect, value for money, experience and location (in that order) top the list of the three main factors their customers consider when booking an outing or trip.  Culture, accessibility catering, and family friendly are next down the list.

An increase in staycations; more last minute booking; a rise in inbound tourism (from China, the US and Canada, for example); a greater focus on experiential holidays and breaks; a rise in digitisation; more away days; and exploring lesser known locations outside of London have been identified as some of the key trends to watch, among others.

Industry Snapshot Survey 2017: All Results

Are you a:

Hotel/accommodation provider 12%
Attraction 19%
Destination 7%
Tour Operator 44%
Other 18%


Have you seen a rise in domestic visitor numbers / bookings over the last year (compared to 2015)?

Yes 67%
No 15%
Same 18%


If yes, by what percentage have you seen a rise?

Average percentage 19%


Have you seen a rise in visitors/bookings from any of the following groups?

Yes No Same
Seniors 45 6 21
Groups 49 15 11
Individual travellers 49 9 13
Luxury 18 30 13
Business 21 24 10
Families 24 19 15
Accessible tourism 13 20 18
International 36 18 8
Other 1 5 7


Over the last 12 months have you seen a rise in online/app bookings?

Yes 60%
No 27%
Same 13%


If yes, by what percentage have you seen a rise?

Average percentage 19%


What do you think are the top 3 things your customers look for in an outing?

Accessibility 13%
Value for money 82%
Experience 68%
Relaxation 7%
Culture 42%
Family friendly 13%
Educational 14%
Sustainable/green 5%
Location 49%
Pet friendly 5%
Catering 10%
Other 6%


Looking ahead, compared to the past 12 months, how do you think customer spending habits will change over the next 12 months?

Significant improvement 11%
Some improvement 46%
No change 22%
Some deterioration 20%
Significant deterioration 1%


How optimistic do you feel about the future of the domestic travel trade?

Very optimistic 29%
Fairly optimistic 49%
No change 17%
Fairly pessimistic 4%
Very pessimistic 1%


Do you think the Brexit vote has had a positive or negative impact on your business?

Positive 28%
Negative 33%
No change 39%


What key trends do you see emerging over the coming 12 months?

  • Rise in domestic tourism – development of more upmarket domestic offers – emerging joint offers to save consumers time and money
  • More digitisation (electronic ticketing and social media advertising) – rising quality expectations – focus on value for money
  • Hopefully more experienced based group travel. Greater day trips and greater need for itineraries and suggested tours.
  • Staycations
  • More visitors to cities outside London
  • People going to more local destinations and spending less money except for food.
  • Continuing recovery in domestic and international economies but some pressure on UK customer.
  • Exploring the lesser known locations that are outside London.
  • Weddings are down, Meeting & Events enquiries are very last minute and our transient market has dipped quite considerably vs Q1 2016.
  • Possible increase in overseas visitors given weakness of the Pound v Dollar/Euro.
  • French and German markets will continue to strengthen US market will remain steady unsure of UK market.
  • Earlier booking for groups. Larger numbers. More varied tour programmes
  • FIT market growing with short breaks
  • More away days and an increase in self catering short breaks.
  • People will be more cautious about spending and booking holidays later.
  • Long 4 day weekends
  • Quality to triumph over price
  • Higher turnover but reduced profitability. Increasing labour shortages as a result of Brexit.
  • Transport issues – rail strikes, coaches stuck in traffic in cities especially London. Image of UK as a welcoming destination being further compromised. More tourism beyond the traditional central London gateway..
  • More short stay holidays in UK and a move away from euroland holidays until the dust settles.
  • Soft adventure, curated experiences, soft educational/ study tours
  • Continued increase in domestic tourism Increase in visitors from China, America & Canada.
  • Less people travelling abroad, increase in British based holidays, price increase for hotels in UK
  • More Holidays being taken in the UK. Later than ever last minute bookings. More Premium product holiday being taken.
  • Optimism as our exit from Europe starts to take effect with positive results
  • Short lead time bookings. Less breaks.
  • More experiential holidays and breaks Immersive tourism – repeat visitors wanting to stay longer in one area eg several nights rather than brief one night and off We’ve had enquiries regarding hands-on experiences eg conservation tours of our churches, begin the scenes tours – something a bit different to the usual touring groupss
  • If the visa policy will be smooth it should be enhance the tourism in United Kingdom
  • Group Travel is strong.
  • Although we ensure all our hotels have good Internet connections we are hearing more of our clients discussing the desire to be out of contact, a wish to be undisturbed whilst on holiday and enjoy more of the dark sky areas of the UK.


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