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The Olympics are Coming. But How Do They Affect the Holiday Plans of Britons?

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The London Olympics will see a huge influx of tourists into the nation's capital, and both businesses and the public will be looking to make the most of the Games. As a leading provider to the travel industry, we at Amadeus were keen to analyse the opportunities available to the travel industry in the run up to the Games, and so we commissioned research to provide a snapshot of how British holiday plans coincide with the Olympics. There were some interesting results.

The research, which surveyed a representative sample of over 2000 UK adults (conducted by YouGov on behalf of Amadeus, the global travel technology provider), has shown that a large number of Britons are planning to go on holiday during the Olympics, but that many of these trips haven't been booked. Whilst this represents a trend the industry has been aware of for some time, it is great to see that - with five weeks to go - there is still a clear opportunity for travel agents to take advantage of.

What is particularly clear from our data is that many Britons have decided they would like to holiday during the Olympics: nearly one in five Britons (19 percent) is planning to go on holiday either within the UK or abroad at the time of the Games. However, nearly half of these (43 percent) haven't yet finalised their travel plans. This suggests there could be around 5.5 million* individuals who plan to travel, but have yet to book. This is a significant opportunity for the travel industry, particularly as the summer period is one in which families tend to splash out more on their 'main' holiday for the year.

Unsurprisingly, our research also found that the price of a trip is a huge factor for many prospective holiday-goers. A quarter of Britons (26 percent) said that a reduction in the cost of a trip would encourage them to take a holiday (either domestically or abroad) during the Olympics. 7 percent of those surveyed said that they would be interested in receiving suggestions from travel agents with regards to tailored breaks during the Games.

In the wider travel industry, we've seen an increasing trend over the past few years for travellers to wait until the last minute to book their holidays, part of which might be the lure of the cut-price deal. As we enter the final few weeks before the Games, it might be that travel agents will see a spike in interest from prospective holiday-goers seeking a good deal.

Additionally, our study looked at the travelling plans of Londoners specifically, and found that 10 percent of Londoners plan to holiday outside of the city, in another UK location. As London has a population of over 7.5 million**, this could translate to just over 750,000 individuals keeping their eyes peeled for good holiday deals within the UK.

What's clear from our data is that the Olympics present the travel industry with an enormous opportunity, both for the influx of tourists coming in, but also those who are looking to use the Games as an opportunity to go on holiday - whether that's abroad, or domestically inside the UK. Given so many of those who plan to go on holiday haven't finalised the details yet, (and with many open to guidance from travel agents), the travel industry should be sure to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

* Office for National Statistics- 'Annual Mid-year Population Estimates, 2010'
** http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/regional-trends/region-and-country-profiles/population-and-migration/population-and-migration---london.html