Holidays are GO next year. More than half of Brits say they will travel abroad and over seven in 10 people are making it Europe – despite Brexit looming!

That’s good news for holiday companies and it come in an aptly-named Holiday Confidence Index report from First Rate Exchange Services, who surveyed more than 5,000 consumers.

People are booking holidays even though fewer than one in five said they expected to see economic growth in the year ahead. The survey revealed that 46%, compared with 44% a year ago, have already booked their first holiday.

Liam Hodge, First Rate Exchange Services Head of Insight said: “The latest Holiday Confidence Index results provide good reason for the travel industry to feel optimistic that consumer demand will remain buoyant in challenging times ahead. The number of people who have already booked trips abroad is a reassuring confirmation that this type of holiday is a part of their lifestyle they are not willing to forgo.”

Europe remains the top destination choice for most holidaymakers: 71% of holidaymakers plan to visit the continent on their first holiday and 63% will do so on subsequent trips. However, while demand for non-eurozone destinations has held steady, the numbers planning trips to the eurozone has fallen 2% to 63% for first holidays and 1% to 56% for second ones. Negative reports about possible sterling exchange rate falls against the euro and concerns about the Brexit settlement are likely to account for this.

While more holidaymakers plan to travel abroad, the report reveals they intend to curb their spending.

Liam Hodge said: “The heavy discounting we saw last summer after a sluggish booking period before and during the 2018 World Cup may have given holidaymakers the expectation of more discounts to come in the coming year. However, this may well prove unfounded and could result in having to sacrifice standards of accommodation to curb costs.  That is quite likely since few of the holidaymakers we spoke to plan to cut the length or frequency of their holidays.”

The 2018 report can be obtained by emailing HolidayConfidenceIndex@firstrate.co.uk