Londoners have proved they are less willing than people from anywhere else in the UK to give up their annual overseas holiday during a pandemic – even if that means going against Government advice, paying for Covid travel tests and gambling on the traffic-light system – according to research released today (Monday 1 November) by WTM London.
Four in 10 (41%) of Londoners have taken an overseas holiday in the past year, twice the national average of 21%, and over three times more than people in the North East, the UK region that saw the lowest number of overseas holidays taken in the last 12 months.
Just 13% of people living in the North East took an overseas holiday during the period, reveals the WTM Industry Report, which polled 1,000 UK consumers.
Twice as many Londoners than the national average booked BOTH an overseas holiday and a staycation, with 9% of people in the capital booking both, compared to the national average of 4%.
Only 36% of Londoners did not get away on holiday last year – either on staycation or overseas trip – compared with 51% of the national average.
It seems resilient Londoners have not been put off by Covid tests, traffic-light changes and even pleas from the Government and experts who repeatedly advised Brits not to travel abroad – even when travel restrictions were eased and it was legal to holiday overseas.
The lack of regional departures at airports outside of the capital could also be a factor in why so many more Londoners than the national average holidayed abroad in the past 12 months.
In addition, local lockdowns put some people off travelling to regional airports that were in, or had the potential to be put in, a different tier.
WTM London Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “Our research shows that Londoners were more likely to cast aside worries and ignore advice about travelling during the pandemic.
“Fewer regional departures and more regional lockdowns have also meant that people outside of London have not been as able or as willing to fly.
“Even when travel was allowed, there was a lot of pressure from Government ministers and health advisers not to travel.
“That, combined with the confusion and cost of Covid tests and the constant changing of traffic-light regulations, did put many people off travelling, but it seems that Londoners were more determined than most to get their regular overseas break – regardless of the additional cost or hassle.”