Young go on fewer holidays as they struggle with cost of living, study finds

A young couple walking by the sea as young people are taking fewer holidays because they are "feeling the pinch", according to new research.

Young people are taking fewer holidays because they are "feeling the pinch", according to new research.

Travel trade organisation Abta found 18-24-year-olds went on an average of 3.6 holidays in the year to August, compared with 4.6 during the same period in 2014/15.

Recent reports suggest young people are struggling with rising rents and less disposable income.

The UK population as a whole typically took 3.8 holidays last year, according to Abta, which is the most since 2011.

People aged 35-44 are taking the most annual trips at 4.3, followed by the over 65s at 4.1.

Abta's director of brand and business development Victoria Bacon told the association's convention in the Azores: "While more Brits have taken more holidays in the past year than at any time since 2011, it is families and older generations who are taking the most holidays.

"Younger people have cut back on holidays in the past year. They're feeling the pinch when it comes to the cost of living."

The annual research is based on a survey of 2,000 adults.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned earlier this year that young people are struggling to save for a deposit to buy their first home due to high house prices and rents.

Almost one in seven (14%) private renters spend more than half their total income on rent, the LGA said.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that household annual disposable income fell by £119 for people aged 20-24 between 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Meanwhile, the UK's official tourist board expects tourism to reach record levels this year.

VisitBritain predicted that almost 40 million people from overseas will have visited the UK by the end of 2017 as currency exchange rates make the country more attractive.

This will see annual spending up 14% to £25.7 billion.

But British Tourist Authority chairman Steve Ridgway warned that the UK should not rely on the low value of sterling to boost the sector in the long term.

In August, the pound reached its lowest level against the euro since 2009 amid uncertainty over Brexit.

"Tourism is a fiercely competitive global industry and you cannot just build a strong, resilient industry on a weaker currency," Mr Ridgway said.

"We must continue to invest in developing world-class tourism products, getting Britain on the wish list of international and domestic travellers. And we must make it easy for visitors to make that trip."

Visits to the UK were up 8% year-on-year to 23.1 million during the first six months of 2017, with spending increased by 9% to £13.3 billion, according to VisitBritain.

Domestic holidays are also growing in popularity, with overnight breaks in England up 7% between January and June to a record 20.4 million.

Tourism minister John Glen said: "We are performing strongly in a hugely competitive market and I will continue to work closely with the sector to maintain growth, get the best possible deal as we exit the EU and retain the UK's position as the must-visit destination."

More from Lifestyle