Younger travellers more likely to change holiday plans because of Brexit survey finds

Younger travellers are more likely than older travellers to avoid travelling to Europe this year as a result of Brexit, according to a new survey from leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM.

In a survey of more than 1,500 people conducted by 3Gem, 18 per cent of 18-34 year olds said they would avoid travelling to Europe this year as a result of Brexit while only six per cent of those over 55 felt the same way. On average, one in 10 said that Brexit would mean they would avoid travelling to Europe this year.

There was a similar split in views over whether Brexit would make any difference to travel plans. Fifty-seven per cent of those aged over 55 said Brexit wouldn't make any difference, but this fell to just over a quarter (26 per cent) of 18-34 year olds who felt the same way.

Only a small proportion of travellers (six per cent) said they would hold off from booking their travel until after the UK had left. This proportion was broadly the same across all age groups.

The survey also found that although consumers plan to curb their spending on a range of products and activities in 2019, consumers would still prioritise three areas – saving, holidays and weekends away.

Ian Bell, RSM's head of travel and tourism said:

'We are now in peak holiday booking season and it's clear from the high level of advertising activity that the industry is working hard to encourage people to keep calm and book their holidays as normal.

'Our survey found that baby boomers seem pretty sanguine about the impact of Brexit on their holiday plans but it is notable that younger people are more hesitant about travelling to Europe and more likely to change their travel plans. This may be because younger travellers have been more susceptible to the scare stories. Alternatively, they may be more price sensitive and fear the possible impact of unfavourable exchange rates. 

'While the current political uncertainty has raised the prospects of a no-deal Brexit, the immediate fears of flights being grounded appear to have receded and the message from everyone in the travel industry is "don't panic". However, some uncertainties remain and travellers will need to check some of the basics such as passport renewal dates, insurance cover and driving licence requirements before they travel.'