More than half of UK adults who say they are better off now than they were before the Covid pandemic will use the extra cash to splash out on a holiday in 2022, reveals research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.
One in five of the 1,000 people responding to the WTM Industry Report 2021 said they are better off than they were pre-Covid, when outgoings were higher.
When asked: “Financially, are you better or worse off since the beginning of the pandemic?”, the majority of respondents (62%) said ‘about the same’; 20% said they were better off and 18% worse off. Respondents were asked to consider both earnings and outgoings in their response.
When those who said they are now better off were asked: “What do you plan to spend your extra money on?” a holiday came out as the top answer, with 55% saying they plan to use it to book a getaway. The figure is almost twice as many as the next-best answer, where 31% of those who are better off than they were pre-COVID said they’d spend it on home improvements.
A cautious one in four (28%) said they’ll “keep the money in the bank for a rainy day”; 26% said they’ll spend it on a new fridge-freezer or something similar in the white-goods category and 21% will buy a new car. Around one in 10, (12%) said they would put the money towards buying a new house.
Even more encouraging for the travel industry, a significant number are still undecided and could well be swayed by tour operators and destinations enticing them to spend their cash on a holiday. Of those who say they’re better off since COVID started, 7% “have not thought about” what they would do with the money.
WTM London Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “This is music to the travel industry’s ears. A lucky one in five of the UK now find themselves financially better off than they were before Covid, because they have ‘accidental savings’ and lower household debt.
“People have been largely stuck indoors for many months on end and this research shows us they are sick of the sight of their four walls.
“Rather than spend money on home improvements or a shiny new washing machine, they just want to get out and about and make the most of life now restrictions are easing. What better way to get away from it all than to book a holiday?
“We already know there is pent-up demand for overseas trips and destinations will be falling over each other to compete to attract the spend of those who have money to burn and who are very likely to be trading up and splashing out on their next holiday.
“What’s more, with a further 7% saying they have not thought about what they will do with their extra cash, travel companies could be in for an even bigger slice of the tasty Covid windfall cake.”