Holiday plans of Scots hit by cost of living crisis as soaring bills overtake Covid as key concern

The holiday plans of nearly 85 per cent of Scots are being impacted by the cost of living crisis, new research has revealed.

Soaring bills have become more of a concern than the pandemic, according to the results of a nationwide opinion poll.

Half of those surveyed said the need to cut back on spending was having a "major" impact on their getaway plans this year.

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Three quarters of Scots said they were still worried about Covid having an impact on their holidays plans, with nearly a quarter seriously concerned about their plans falling victim to new spikes in cases and restrictions being imposed at home or abroad.

Passenger numbers have been on the increase at Edinburgh Airport this year. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The war in the Ukraine has affected the holiday plans of 47 per cent of Scots, with particular concerns about the risk of trips to Eastern Europe being disrupted.

Just over 1000 people were polled by Scottish market research company 56 Degree Insight over two days earlier this month.

One respondent said: “I have less disposable income due to the rise in the cost of living and therefore less to spend on holidays.”

Another added: “Spiralling costs of living and energy bills are leaving me with nothing each month, with no chance of affording a break.

The cost of living crisis and the pandemic have been cited by Scots as two of the biggest concerns about going on holiday this year.

Just 72 per cent of those polled are currently planning some form of holiday this year.

More than 40 per cent of Scots surveyed said they were planning to go on holiday in their own country, while Spain was the most popular overseas destination. Just 11 pent want to go to a long-haul location.

Jim Eccleston, 56 Degree Insight’s managing partner, said: “The effects of the cost of living crisis is clear – half of Scots claim it is having a major impact on whether or not they take holidays or on the nature of the holiday or destination choice, with many tightening their belts accordingly.

Coronavirus is still dampening the enthusiasm of many to take a holiday – a quarter say that it continues to have a major impact.

"And, of course, the uncertainties around the ongoing war in Ukraine are also playing a part.

“There’s encouraging news for both the domestic tourism industry and outbound travel operators.

"More than seven in 10 Scots anticipate they’ll be taking holidays this year – a notable increase on last year – with 41 per cent of Scots likely to take a holiday in Scotland itself.

"However, there are also clear shoots of recovery for foreign holidays – especially to the Mediterranean.”

A spokesman for VisitScotland said: “The latest findings of our own research with VisitBritain align closely with that of 56 Degree Insight’s survey.

"Demand for tourism in Scotland from residents is rising, while concerns around Covid are falling.

"However, growing concerns around the cost of living could have an impact on where, and how often, Scots choose to holiday this year.

“The Scottish tourism industry should be encouraged that the latest survey results show those who are planning a trip are more likely to choose a staycation than travel elsewhere."This is important as the return of international travel to pre-pandemic levels is expected to happen over a long-term period.

"Which means people in Scotland will have a key role to play in the immediate term to help businesses get back on their feet.”

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