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Londoners set to lead leisure travel recovery next year

Can city breaks compensate for the shortfall in business travelers?
Can city breaks compensate for the shortfall in business travelers?
Written by Harry Johnson

It’s great news that consumers in London seem to be so eager to get away in 2022 – they are fortunate to have three well-connected airports and an international rail network on their doorstep so they can take full advantage of the resumption of services to Europe and beyond, especially as travel restrictions continue to ease.

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Londoners look set to lead the way to the sun loungers in summer 2022, as more of them say they will book holidays – and they want to splash more cash on their travel plans next year, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.

They are also better off after the pandemic than others across the UK and more intent on buying a much-missed overseas trip, reveals the WTM Industry Report.

The research shows that 28% of Londoners want to take at least one holiday in 2022 – compared to about 22% of consumers across the nation. Furthermore, less than one in 10 (9%) said they will not be booking a 2022 vacation, far less than the 16% figure seen nationwide.

A quarter said they would spend “significantly more” – by a margin of 20% or more – compared to 17% nationwide, and 28% said they would spend “slightly more” than before –  up to 20% more – compared to 25% nationally.

Also, the survey showed more Londoners seem to have come out of the pandemic in a better financial position, as 29% said they’re now better off than before Covid-19, compared to an average of 19% across the UK.

Finally, the research showed that Londoners are keener to spend their cash on a holiday, as two thirds of them (66%) said they would spend their extra money on a break, compared to an average of 63% around the country.

The research bodes well for the recovery of the British outbound travel industry, suggesting there is strong pent-up demand for post-pandemic getaways as restrictions ease, with more opportunities for growth from consumers in the capital.

This may well be thanks to the wider choice of flights and train journeys, as Londoners can travel from three major international hubs – Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – and stations such as St Pancras International for Eurostar services.

Another factor could be the slower pace of recovery for airports beyond London and the southeast of England, meaning many holidaymakers in the regions have fewer options than before the pandemic.

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, takes place over the next three days (Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 November) at ExCeL – London.

Simon Press, WTM London Exhibition Director, said: “It’s great news that consumers in London seem to be so eager to get away in 2022 – they are fortunate to have three well-connected airports and an international rail network on their doorstep so they can take full advantage of the resumption of services to Europe and beyond, especially as travel restrictions continue to ease.

“We hope that the on-going recovery of the leisure market will enable regional airports to rebuild their networks too and enable more holidaymakers across the UK to book an overseas break without having to travel too far for their departure airport.”

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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