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Author Topic: Returning to holidays and leisure trips - but UK or overseas?  (Read 603 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« on: September 14, 2020, 10:54:04 am »

Split from topic http://www.passenger.chat/23947 - looking at the changing pattern of travel - graham

For pragmatic / practical purposes, the 2020 holiday was taken in Bournemouth not Bodrum if at all, and that may have been a rediscovery.  In the future, a weekend trip to Barcelona replaced by a weekend trip to Blackpool and a lifetime trip to the Mauritius gives way to a trip to Mallaig, onward to Skye not the Seychelles.  The Costal Del Sol replaced by the Cornish Riviera once again.  Looe not Lisbon, Falmouth not Faro.

The only fly in that particular ointment is of course the vagaries of the British weather which is, in the main, what ?did for? the UK domestic holiday market in the first place. Couple that with the relatively short warm holiday season in the UK, which necessitates UK hoteliers to charge high prices to keep their businesses viable all year round, and it will become something of an uphill struggle to return that market to its pre package deal levels on a permanent basis.

Yes, some may find it a novel experience to swap Majorca for Mallaig for one year, and perhaps Seville for Skegness the year after, but by year 3 most will be longing for a bit more sun and a bit less rain, and lower accommodation, food and alcohol prices.

Once we get let out of this country again or, more importantly, let back in again without going into quarantine when we do, I can see foreign holidays making an almost full recovery.


« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 07:26:43 am by grahame » Logged
REVUpminster
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 11:27:27 am »

Torbay was packed in July and August; is still busy; but the tourists were all British so they did not bring the virus with them. As soon as people were allowed out of the country to Spain and Greece they brought it back. And let's not talk about the footballers.

It's ironic the wealthiest area Wellswood in Torquay has had a new outbreak.  In March Churston Grammar school, between Paignton and Brixham, was an epicentre with children returning from a skiing holiday in Italy and despite the criticism of the government it was clamped down on straight away.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 11:29:27 am »

For pragmatic / practical purposes, the 2020 holiday was taken in Bournemouth not Bodrum if at all, and that may have been a rediscovery.  In the future, a weekend trip to Barcelona replaced by a weekend trip to Blackpool and a lifetime trip to the Mauritius gives way to a trip to Mallaig, onward to Skye not the Seychelles.  The Costal Del Sol replaced by the Cornish Riviera once again.  Looe not Lisbon, Falmouth not Faro.

The only fly in that particular ointment is of course the vagaries of the British weather which is, in the main, what ?did for? the UK domestic holiday market in the first place. Couple that with the relatively short warm holiday season in the UK, which necessitates UK hoteliers to charge high prices to keep their businesses viable all year round, and it will become something of an uphill struggle to return that market to its pre package deal levels on a permanent basis.

Yes, some may find it a novel experience to swap Majorca for Mallaig for one year, and perhaps Seville for Skegness the year after, but by year 3 most will be longing for a bit more sun and a bit less rain, and lower accommodation, food and alcohol prices.

Once we get let out of this country again or, more importantly, let back in again without going into quarantine when we do, I can see foreign holidays making an almost full recovery.


I'm not so sure, Robin ... I did think of that, but the winters don't seem to be as cold as they used to be and we're getting longer and hotter summers - a trend which will take time to slow and reverse.  Lloret del Mar will become too warm for comfort and the beach at Lossiemouth - long and empty when I was last up there - will be the new "go to" place.

Also take a look at the CO2 cost of getting there should that be reflected into a pounds cost.   And note that by the time global warming has been reversed and is working back out of the system, the embedded businesses that are built on mass long distance travel and accommodation once there will have long since re-factored and will be no longer have protectionist interests (or, rather, those interests will be more in keeping things as they have been in the interim rather than before they were in 2020).

I don't know the answer ... I'm putting an alternative view.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 11:46:35 am »

To add a reminder of how our weather has changed ... here is a scene that use to be commonplace ...

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 01:18:50 pm »

As you say, neither of us really knows and alternative views are available. There are however a number of pints to take into account.

Firstly, the only things that can be actually guaranteed in a UK summer is that the days will be longer then in the winter and the overall average temperature will be higher. The temperature on individual days will vary, sometimes quite widely within any given month.

Secondly, a very important point about perceived temperature is humidity. In the UK it is commonplace for high humidity and high temperatures to arrive together, so as you know it can sometimes be no more than 23 degrees and it feels too hot to go out. This doesn?t necessarily apply in other countries and, from experience, I know that a temperature in the high 30s on the coast in the South African summer can be quite comfortable (best to not stay out in it very long though for other obvious reasons!). And of course, what constitutes too hot and too cold is a subjective matter.

I am not a climate change denier by any means, but when I read ?we?re getting longer and hotter summers? I like to see the evidence. The UK population are very subjective with their memories and those memories also tend tp be short ? I well remember from a few years ago that we had a heatwave for a couple of weeks and then, as usual, it broke down and we had a couple of days rain.  I happened to hear an idiot DJ on the radio on that seco0nd day of rain complaining what a terrible summer we were having!!

So here is my evidence. As a statistical nerd I have been keeping rudimentary weather records for Chippenham for some years, recording the daily maximum temperature and the average cloud cover. I will not display the average cloud cover because that is very subjective and may vary within a few miles. But here are the average temperatures in my neck of the woods since 2012:

 
As you say, neither of us really knows and alternative views are available. There are however a number of pints to take into account.

Firstly, the only things that can be actually guaranteed in a UK summer is that the days will be longer then in the winter and the overall average temperature will be higher. The temperature on individual days will vary, sometimes quite widely within any given month.

Secondly, a very important point about perceived temperature is humidity. In the UK it is commonplace for high humidity and high temperatures to arrive together, so as you know it can sometimes be no more than 23 degrees and it feels too hot to go out. This doesn?t necessarily apply in other countries and, from experience, I know that a temperature in the high 30s on the coast in the South African summer can be quite comfortable (best to not stay out in it very long though for other obvious reasons!). And of course, what constitutes too hot and too cold is a subjective matter.

I am not a climate change denier by any means, but when I read ?we?re getting longer and hotter summers? I like to see the evidence. The UK population are very subjective with their memories and those memories also tend tp be short ? I well remember from a few years ago that we had a heatwave for a couple of weeks and then, as usual, it broke down and we had a couple of days rain.  I happened to hear an idiot DJ on the radio on that seco0nd day of rain complaining what a terrible summer we were having!!

So here is my evidence. As a statistical nerd I have been keeping rudimentary weather records for Chippenham for some years, recording the daily maximum temperature and the average cloud cover. I will not display the average cloud cover because that is very subjective and may vary within a few miles. But here are the average temperatures in my neck of the woods since 2012:



   

So as you can see, global warming may well be a fact but it hasn?t had much effect on the average temperatures in Chippenham just yet!




So as you can see, global warming may well be a fact but it hasn?t had much effect on the average temperatures in Lyneham just yet!


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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 02:35:09 pm »

So as you can see, global warming may well be a fact but it hasn?t had much effect on the average temperatures in Lyneham just yet!

The record for such a short period is hardly going to show the important change, which is from 1800 or before to now (though it has accelerated lately). And weather has important variations, some somewhat cyclic, on all timescales less than that, which is what you mostly see in short time series.


As a statistical nerd...

I think I might contest that status (and so might Graham)! And in this case, Ive got a longer one than yours. The Met Office's historical data collection includes Oxford (Radcliffe Observatory), and that series of records starts in 1853. I've taken the average of daily maximum temperatures for August, and this is the result as a graph. I've not added lines to link them as it just looks a mess, and the ordering in the short term isn't important here.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 02:51:50 pm by stuving » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 04:26:39 pm »

Robin ... I suspect you may be playing devil's advocate by trying to draw a conclusion from a statistical colander. The longer term trend is relatively gentle and small under the rollercoaster of big annual ups and downs, but the steady drip, drip of the underlying gentle change becomes significant over the decades, as pointed out by Stuving.   And as I think he's pointing out, if the pattern of temperatures changes too (and we are told of "more extreme events"), then taking the extremity of one extreme each month is measuring that very pattern change and not the general (average) level.   You could have the highest temperature getting higher each year, but that change caused purely by more violent extremes and not because of an overall rise.

I would, of course, not expect Dafyd and Daisy Williams from Briton Ferry, or Kevin and Cynthia McDougall from Airdrie, to study the above carefully before choosing whether to go to Allhallows or Alicante ... but reputations lead and if Allhallows seems like a Haven from the rigours of long distance travel and if its online reviews are 4.6 out of 5 ... it may get the nod.


https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature


 
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 04:54:38 pm »

I completely agree that a dataset from 1853 to date is a lot more informative than one from 2012 to date, and I've no problem with you having a bigger one than me. It's what you do with it that counts... Wink

However, this arose because of Graham's reasoning which seemed to be that, following the COVID pandemic, people's holidaying habits would change, and one of the reasons put forward for that change was that the UK weather is getting wamer. And that appeared to be applying from the last "normal" holiday season (2019) and the next one due in 2021.

Most of us accept that the climate is changing ansd that temperatures are rising worldwide but, as your data shows, this is a very slow and gradual process. My dataset shows that over a 9-year period for one particular point in the UK there has been precious little if any difference in overall average temperatures year on year.

That is what one would expect over so short a time period,and in my view counters Graham's suggestion of "the weather getting warmer" as a reason for countless thousands changing their holidaying habits in 2021 or 2022. Those habits may well change - I won't argue with that - but anyone who bases their decision to change on "more warm weather in Morecambe or wherever next year" is likely to be sadly disappointed.

In a way it is not dissimilar to the essentially meaningless statements we hear from weather forecasters and headline writers. Yesterday the BBC weather presenter was telling ihis perhaps uncritical viewers that we had 30 degrees forecast in London today. Then after a pause he added that the last time this happenedin September was 2016. So hardly worthy of a headline, then...

But my favourite misleading weather statment, and one I have had to listen to from as long ago as the 1950s coming from my maidem aunts, runs along the lines of "it was warmer in the UK yesterday than it was in Athens!" OK - fime - perhaps it was - but what about the other 364 days in the year...?

I shall try to get back on topic in my next post  Grin


Late addition - I read Graham's last post at the "preview" stage and I dn't think I need to change any of my reasoning or conclusions as a result
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 07:54:33 am »

THIS IS an almost-duplicated cross post as I have split "returning to work" from "returning to holiday and leisure trips".  This is the thread about returning to holidays and leisure trips.

Quote
I shall try to get back on topic in my next post  Grin

Moderators. - is this a thread split moment?

There's a whole subject, namely  - Will Covid 19 lead to a revival of the domestic tourist/holiday industry and what effect might this have on rail travel?

I think there's more to say on this subject......

Oh goodness eightonedee - what a huge challenge you have set!    The subjects of a returning pattern for commuters and a returning pattern for leisure travellers are different but have significant overlap as do may of the posts that are (or were) here.  And the split facility is an "exclusive or" one ... either a post goes into the new topic or stays - doesn't go to both!

I considered simply "flushing" a new, catch-all title through the whole old thread but that would have left us with a mammoth topic including ...
* Changing travel patterns for commuting (journeys to main place of employment)
* Changing travel patterns for holidays (journeys to places to stay for pleasure)
* Changes of travel patterns for other reasons - business meetings, day trips, education ...
and
* the effects of all the pattern changes on public transport provision needed

They intermesh, they are in the same basket.  But there are also significant divergences (such as the effect or weather)

Old thread is at http://www.passenger.chat/23947 - COMMUTING to normal place of work
This new thread is at http://www.passenger.chat/24018 - GOING ON HOLIDAY
And perhaps others should be started for day trips, and for the combination effect on needed and desired service patterns
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 08:56:35 am »

I remember in my youth going on holiday to St Leonards, to Minehead, to Barmouth by train ... to the far north of Scotland taking my moped on the train as far as Inverness, and by motorail to Perth for the Cairngorms and Western Highlands.  Perhaps my glasses are rosy tinted ones, but with a few exceptions the memories are good ones; I do remember the midges and almost none-stop rain when we stayed at the head of Loch Duich (and looking at a map later learned it's the wettest place in the British Isles!) but for the most part it was pretty good weather. 

Marriage and children switched holiday travel to the car, and business trips where total travel time time (from Harpenden, Caddington, Easterton and Melksham) was of the essence and lots of heavy equipment had to be taken meant I hardly travelled on a train for 25 years, and for a further 10 years train travel remained only occasional - the equipment getting lighter, but the journey to my nearest usable railhead a messy one, typically involving a car anyway. 

Cheap flights, quick airport procedures, good value at destinations, business overseas and lots of exciting things to do took me / us to different countries - France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the USA for pleasure (and, sure, Naples [Florida] and Cap D'Agde [Med]) had nicer weather.  To Western Europe, Scandinavia, and further afield - Canada, USA, Mexico, Slovenia and Saudi Arabia on business.

But my comparison, and I suspect that of many people, looks back a number of decades.  Robin's timeline of the last decade showing climate change over the 10 years is interesting, but people trying a UK holiday this year won't be making his recent comparison and will be looking at other factors too for subsequent years.   They'll see flights getting more expensive, airport procedures ever more complex, and destination value no longer a bargain. They may risk having to isolate at home for 2 weeks when they get back from abroad too. And they'll find that the UK weather is perhaps marginally "better" than it was at the turn of the century, boarding houses where you had to queue for the loo/bathroom replaced by accommodation en-suite, and for those who use it, public (rail) transport for the most part improved beyond all measure in frequency and in journey time. We could (probably will) argue cost, comfort and on-train catering.

So - where am I headed?

Are people trying UK holidays for the first time in a generation?  If so, what are they finding, and will they on balance like it and continue to holiday largely in the UK even as and when and if they have a practical choice again?  Why put yourself through all the hassle (much more hassle for some than others) just for "fun"?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 07:52:32 pm »

I actually agree with much of what Graham says but I feel he may be over-egging the pudding regarding UK holidays and perhaps overstating the drawbacks of foreign ones. I accept that there will be a lot of devil?s advocacy coming, but I feel it is important to get some things in context. It also may be worthwhile to look back at how things were 50-odd years ago when there still was a large domestic holiday industry.

It is a matter of fact that the south of the UK is generally warmer than the north. This is nothing to do with climate change but more to do with latitude and prevailing weather systems. The northern resorts such as Blackpool, Scarborough and so on certainly had a tourist trade, but a look at railway timetables from the 1960s, especially for Blackpool and Morecambe, shows summer Saturday extras running from Scotland (mainly Glasgow). It might be no more than coincidence, but I did wonder then and I still wonder now whether those resorts were about as far south as some could afford to go, hence their popularity with those from further north. They were also of course popular with people from the industrial and mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Travel affordability may also have been a factor there, but another was relative proximity. I will come back to proximity later.

In those days you rarely heard a Cockney accent in Blackpool or Scarborough ? they were all in Margate, Brighton or Southend...

I worked on the railway in the 1970s when overnight holiday trains still ran. The Newcastle to Paignton; the Manchester to Newquay; trains that took their holidaymakers down overnight on Friday, and took them back again on Saturday afternoon a week or two later. They were long journeys, up to 11 hours, and in a standard of comfort that you would expect today in economy class on a long haul flight (ie not much). I doubt that there are many who look back on those journeys with rose-tinted glasses but, in any case, widespread overnight travel on UK railways is a thing of the past so that option isn?t available anyway.

One thing that aviation has done is to change the perception of proximity, as indeed the railways themselves did now nearly 200years ago. It is now possible, for example, for a family in Consett to drive to Newcastle or Teesside airport, be at the airport for the recommended two hours before departure to go through the formalities, fly to Alicante and be bussed to their hotels; all in less time than it would have taken their grandparents Newcastle to Newcastle to Newquay train to get to Taunton, And matters like these need factoring in to the equation.

I feel the two main disincentives to air travel at the moment are high fares and potential for quarantine. The fares issue will resolve itself as demand, and therefore supply, begins to recover to something like former levels. Quarantine will not be going away until the risk of infection is close to being eradicated, either through vaccine or herd immunity. But even there, some members of society will be more affected by it than others. It may not be too onerous, for example, for the retired or some people who work from home

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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2020, 11:34:56 pm »

I expect a gradual shift towards holidays in the UK.
In the near term, the present pandemic and consequent quarantine restrictions are clearly a reason to favour holidays within the UK.
In the longer term I expect other factors to drive a move away from overseas holidays and towards UK holidays, including;

Concerns regarding climate change, a minority will probably wish to minimise flying for moral reasons. Flying might also become more expensive.

Direct effects of climate change, relatively small initially, but as the UK warms this will increases the chances of warm and sunny weather in UK holiday resorts. Meanwhile some popular overseas resorts may change from "nice and sunny" towards "too hot, and also drought ridden"

Increased "hassle factor" in flying. It is only a matter of times until terrorists again hijack aircraft as has happened previously. More security checks, more aggravation and longer check in times.

And finally alcohol and food prices have been mentioned as a DISINCENTIVE to UK holidays. There will be calls to reduce alcohol prices in particular. There might be an admission that drinkers have been overfleeced.
Beer in particular now costs nearly TWENTY times the price I paid when first of drinking age in 1978. Wages have of course increased also, but not to the same extent. Time to reduce beer duty ? "Holiday in the UK ! Enjoy a pint or two of locally brewed beer at the new REDUCED PRICE "
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« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 05:53:30 am »



And finally alcohol and food prices have been mentioned as a DISINCENTIVE to UK holidays. There will be calls to reduce alcohol prices in particular. There might be an admission that drinkers have been overfleeced.
Beer in particular now costs nearly TWENTY times the price I paid when first of drinking age in 1978. Wages have of course increased also, but not to the same extent. Time to reduce beer duty ? "Holiday in the UK ! Enjoy a pint or two of locally brewed beer at the new REDUCED PRICE "

I wouldn't hold your breath.

The Government (rightly) is very unlikely to do anything which is seen as encouraging even more alcohol consumption given the damage and cost already incurred to health & society by boozing - it's the same argument as tobacco duty and always an easy one to justify & slip through an increase. 

Additionally, how would you propose the Government make up the lost revenue? (I might even say, Booooooooooooze gonna pay for it?)  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 10:36:58 am »

As suggested, I suspect Robin and I are both taking slightly more extreme views to illustrate our thoughts than we really expect to reflect any stable state outcome.

This is a time of change ... and that makes it a time of opportunity, and of risk.  In our particular travel-by-train to holiday discussion, an opportunity to provide a proportion of people who's families have got out of the habit of holidaying a few hours from home by train with a more sustainable, less hasssled and equally or more enjoyable time ... and a risk of scaring people away by telling people that trains are only for use as a last resort, or the remnant of that scare, and of continue erratically high prices and complexity, and excess gaps in services.
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 11:02:07 am »

I was in a meeting recently trying to plan conferences for 2021 in the end we decided it was unlikely we could have physical conferences before the autumn of 2021 and even then we would plan it as a hybrid event (virtual and physical). 

Having decided that we started thinking of possible venues for the autumn event. Our normal policy would be to make it easily accessible by public transport, but mindful of a number of company policies on travel at the moment (a number of companies in our sector insist on independent travel by car) we decided that we needed somewhere with ample parking so out of town. To do otherwise might reduce the potential number of people able to attend and question the viability of the event. The venue we will probably choose also has public transport links but is not in walking distance of a station.
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