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Tourism boost

Young would pay a third more for ‘green holiday’


Sustainability is key for young holidaymakers (pic: National Pride UK)

Young consumers would be prepared to pay between 30% and 40% more for a holiday experience that meets high standards of hygiene and sustainability, according to new research.

Data released by Barclays shows significant changes in priorities among holidaymakers and also reveals that UK hospitality and leisure businesses are poised for a £9 billion boost if Brits choose to take their vacation at home again in 2022.

The data from Barclays Corporate Banking reveals that the hospitality and leisure industry is thriving again and could contribute £250m more to Scotland’s economy this year, and £3.5bn across the UK, than in 2019.

The vast majority of hospitality and leisure businesses (93%) in Scotland are confident about their growth prospects for this year following a post-lockdown surge in trade. 

Based on projected sales figures for the period from April to December 2021, when the hospitality sector has largely been open again, this equates to £3.5bn more in national Gross Value Added (GVA) than in the equivalent period in 2019.

The research reveals new patterns in the way people are accessing hospitality and leisure services and changing consumer habits.

Staycation tourism could be here to stay with more than half (52%) of consumers in Scotland prioritising UK holidays over those abroad. The most popular destinations are the Lake District, the South West of England and the Scottish Highlands.  

Barclays Corporate Banking estimates that, if a preference for UK holidays continues at the same rate in 2022, it will add up to £9.2bn to the UK’s domestic tourism market.

The report shows that significant numbers of consumers are prioritising hospitality and leisure products that offer health and wellbeing benefits, strong sustainability credentials, or which come with particularly strong safety and hygiene standards.

On average, consumers in Scotland are prepared to pay 17.4% extra for healthier food and drink options, and 15.8% for holiday accommodation that includes health and wellbeing services such as a gym or spa and 80% of hospitality and leisure operators in the area are now prioritising ‘healthy’ products among their portfolios.

Across the UK, those aged 16 to 24 would be prepared to pay a premium of 35%, on average, for food and drink products with strong sustainability credentials. The average premium for 25-to-35-year-olds is 30%.

A sustainable holiday experience is worth 39% more to the youngest group, and 32% for 25s-to-35s.

Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking, commented: “After a very difficult period for the hospitality sector, it is great to see how well the sector has bounced back. Our findings show an industry brimming with confidence and buoyed by surging revenues.

“However, it is also an industry that is undergoing a substantial amount of change – from the customers it serves to the products it sells.

“We have uncovered strong evidence that, particularly for younger customers, operators will need to place increased focus on healthy, sustainable and safe product ranges and to maintain investment in data and technology.

“Whilst the industry is navigating some short-term challenges around supply chains and labour shortages, operators that prioritise these areas will be an incredibly strong position for the long-term.”

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