Article date: 15 March 2005
More than two-thirds (69%) of Brits are saying goodbye to thetraditional two-week beach holiday as they pack their suitcases forshort breaks and more unusual destinations, according to a newreport out today.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of the nation’s holidaymakers nowopt for at least two short breaks a year with Brits increasinglyditching traditional hot spots for lesser-known destinations.
And more than half (59%) of those questioned in NorwichUnion’s "holiday habits" study thought that the mostimportant consideration when going on holiday was to travel tosomewhere new and undiscovered, with more than a third (35%) sayingthey had to leave the UK to really feel as if they were "onholiday".
Dawn McMullan, travel development manager from Norwich UnionInsurance, says: "Last-minute deals on flights, hotels on theinternet and greater choice have heralded a new generation ofjet-set travellers as it becomes increasingly affordable to visitplaces we haven’t been to before. So it comes as no surpriseto find that Brits are opening up their imagination and changingtheir habits to travel more frequently and to more unusualshort-break holiday destinations."
The "holiday habits" report identified five kinds of Britishtraveller:
- Cultural connoisseur – a third of people polled(33%) thought of themselves as "cultural connoisseurs". Thisholidaymaker wants to get away from other tourists to experiencethe culture of a destination but always with itinerary and guidebook to hand. Typical destinations include Cairo, Florence and StPetersburg.
- Trend trekker – one-in-ten (11%) of thosequestioned like to holiday at the latest "new" destination orresort before it becomes popular with the crowds. Celebritypatrons of this type include Sadie Frost and Kate Moss and typicaldestinations include Iceland and Croatia… for themoment.
- Traditionalist – nearly a third (31%) claimedthey were "traditionalists" who holiday somewhere they’vebeen before where English is widely spoken. "Traditionalists" booktheir holiday from a travel agent and brochure. Typical resortsinclude the Costa del Sol or the Canaries.
- Free-spirit – one-in-ten (7%) saw themselves as aMichael Palin or Leonardo di Caprio. The "free-spirit" travellerprefers to explore alternative countries that are not usuallyconsidered tourist destinations - such as South America orCambodia. Trekking and camping are the norm really to experiencethe lives of the locals.
- Luxury lounger – a fifth (19%) of thosequestioned like to be pampered in the lap of luxury at highquality and safe destinations that cater for their every whim.Celebrity "luxury loungers" include Joan Collins, Michael Winnerand the Zeta-Douglas’s and typical resorts will be found inthe South of France, Dubai or Sorrento for example.
Regardless of the nation’s holiday preferences, NorwichUnion’s "holiday habits" study found that many Britishholidaymakers are taking unnecessary risks when it comes toprotecting themselves with insurance. Overall, when it comes toshort breaks almost half (47%) of the nation’s travellersnever bother to take out travel insurance or don’t thinkit’s necessary.
Of these, more than a quarter (28%) claimed they simply forgotabout getting travel insurance ahead of a short break, and afurther 16% didn’t think it necessary when travelling withinthe EU.
It’s not simply those who travel to familiar destinationswho are opting to holiday without cover as one would expect.Research shows that the gamble is being taken by every kind ofholidaymaker with nearly two-thirds (61%) of "culturalconnoisseurs" and three-quarters (71%) of "trend trekkers"travelling without insurance on occasion. Interestingly "freespirits" are the most insurance aware – with just under half(47%) opting to travel without insurance.
Dawn McMullan, commented: "Our breaks away are very important tous and so is getting a great holiday deal. However it’scrucial not to overlook the importance of travel insurance aswithout it holidaymakers are at risk of a hefty bill should anymishaps take place while on holiday. Our research showed that thenation’s most wanted destination for a short-break was NewYork where even a relatively minor injury could cost up to $5,000for treatment.
"Annual travel insurance is ideal for those who want to take anumber of breaks throughout the year. It provides value for moneyand convenience since you can book your holiday with the knowledgethat you’ve already sorted out your insurance."
Other findings from the "holiday habits" research revealed:
- Men prefer pampering holidays – 22% of them said theywere "luxury loungers" compared to only 17% of women
- 12% of those questioned take more than four short-breaks everyyear
- The top five dream destinations for short breaks are New York,Iceland, Paris, Venice and Dubai. Other popular destinationsinclude Egypt, Marrakech, Berlin and Vienna.
For more details on Norwich Union Direct’s Annual Travelinsurance and the additional benefits it offers on holidays andflights please visit www.norwichunion.com (whereyou’ll get a 10% discount for booking online) or call 0800121 007.
Charlotte Ruddlesdin,Charlotte Speedy at QBO Bell Pottinger on 020 7861 2424
Adam Cracknell at Norwich Union Press Office on 01603 684 916/07800699517
Notes to editors:
Norwich Union Insurance commissioned 72 point to conductresearch amongst 2,500 consumers in February 2005.
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About Norwich Union Insurance
- Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 13 per cent
- With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
- one in five households
- one in seven motor vehicles
- more than 800,000 businesses
- Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct
- Norwich Union Insurance Limited Registered in England No99122. Registered office: 8 Surrey Street, Norwich, NR1 3NG.Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.Members of the Aviva group.