By Daniel Hunter

Findings of a recent PwC consumer behaviour and travel survey show the changing holiday habits of consumers. When asked about expectations on spending over the next year, almost all consumers are more positive than this time last year.

The survey shows that consumers continue to see holidays as an important spending priority, although somewhat paradoxically it remains an area to reduce expenditure, given the prominence of holiday spending in the household discretionary spending budget.

The findings have unearthed several different behavioural trends, when comparing each consumer group by age. Each consumer group cites different areas for spending and cutting back; but seniors across all social groups prioritise holiday spending.

The 55+ age group are most positive about spending on holidays next year, with it being their main spending priority; the 18-34 age group cite saving for a new home and credit card or loan repayments, and the 35-54 age group cite mortgage repayments, credit card or loan repayments and home improvements as their spending priority.

“The elderly and retired are the most positive about spending on holidays next year," David Trunkfield, partner at PwC, said.

"Consumers have also eased back a little from some of the more radical ‘coping strategies’ they have adopted to reduce holiday spending over the past three years.”

Over the next 12 months, those surveyed are more likely to spend less on dining out, takeaways and clothing, shoes and accessories rather than cut down on their main holiday or short breaks.

“With declines in inflation over the past few months, the picture for discretionary consumer spending is looking a little more positive, and it looks like consumers are done with cutting back on holiday spend and are looking to cut back on other areas, like clothing, if they have to," Trunkfield concluded.

“The poor British summer is also likely to encourage increased foreign holidays, which remain some way below their pre-recession peak. The average numbers of holidays taken remains around 20% below what respondents see as normal whilst a third report not taking a holiday at all.”

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