Goodbye Bucket and Spade – Hello Selfie Stick!

British Holiday-Makers Want More Authenticity, Culture And Adventure Than Ever Before. New Report Examines The Changing Nature Of British Holidays Over The Previous Three Decades To Mark Virgin Holidays 30th Anniversary

An extensive recently released research report, commissioned by Virgin Holidays, reveals the changing face of the British holiday, and how the needs of the British holiday-maker have evolved over the past thirty years.

Today’s traveller identifies the sheer breadth of destinations now available as the most important factor in relation to international holidays today (59%).  Other top motivators for travel include discovering indigenous cultures (53%), sampling foreign cuisines (45%) and partaking in local adventures (31%)  In fact, we are 48% more likely to go on holiday now, than we were 30 years ago – all suggesting that a new breed of British tourist has been born. One that is more likely to take with them a selfie-stick rather than a bucket and spade.


And of course, one of the biggest changes in thirty years is technology – logging in on social media an average of four times a day!  While half of us (55%) do it to simply let friends and family know what we’re up to, one in ten of us do so because the thought of not being connected “stresses” us out, and some of us even like to check up on our beloved family pets.

It’s also the ladies who are the biggest social media show-offs, with females 50% more likely than men to check in at the airport.  That pursuit of the perfect holiday photograph for social has even corresponded to a greater proportion of us bringing selfie sticks, than bucket and spades, on a summer holiday.

With regards to change within the industry, holiday-makers feel like the industry has evolved for the better with (46%) of those questioned citing hotel quality as the biggest improvement in the last thirty years, followed by advancements in air travel (38%) and a more affordable price (36%).

The top three developments Brits would like the travel industry to focus on is firstly more affordability (37%), secondly greater flexibility (31%) and thirdly that tourism should deliver greater benefits to the countries visited (25%).

The  top five items to take on holiday in 1985 were:

  1. Camera
  2. Sun protection
  3. Walkman
  4. Map of the country
  5. Speedos

Top five items to take on holiday in 2015 are:

  1. Smartphone
  2. Sun protection
  3. Phone charger
  4. Digital camera
  5. Beach togs


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