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All Inclusive Tourists Splash Out On Spa Treatments But Tighten Their Belts In European Resorts

Press Release   •   Jun 28, 2014 23:00 BST

- Almost one-third of All Inclusive tourists paid extra for spa treatments costing £253m
- But fewer holidaymakers on European trips will pay extra for food, drinks and web access
- Post Office® All Inclusive Holiday Report found that at least 80 per cent of European All Inclusive resorts excluded branded drinks, bottles of wine, mini-bars and a la carte dining
- B&B packages including resort meals & drinks can cost £000s less than All Inclusive ones

Cost-cutting holidaymakers are reining in their spending on meals, drinks and internet access charged as extras on All Inclusive trips in Europe – but new research by Post Office Travel Money reveals that they are happy to splash extra cash on spa treatments.

Over one-in-seven holidaymakers said they had expected spa treatments to be included in their European All Inclusive packages. However, none of the European resorts contacted by the Post Office for the fourth annual All Inclusive Holiday Report offered this. As a result, almost three-in-ten (28 per cent) of people who had taken European All Inclusive trips paid extra to pamper themselves with spa treatments.

Even more holidaymakers on long haul trips – 35 per cent of those surveyed – spent money in the spa. At an average of £43 per treatment, this means that in total six million All Inclusive holidaymakers paid £253 million for massages and other rejuvenating treatments.

This was one of several findings in the Post Office All Inclusive Holiday Report that revealed a widening gap between UK tourists on European and long haul All Inclusive packages. Bargain-hunters who have stayed in European resorts now expect less to be included in their package and fewer are prepared to pay for extras than they were just two years ago

Of the two-in-five UK adults who have now taken an All Inclusive trip, twice as many have visited a European resort. Although seven-in-ten still admitted paying for extras that were not included in their European All Inclusive package, there has been a sharp fall in the numbers who paid for branded alcohol from 39 per cent in 2012 to 24 per cent. There were similar falls for purchases of bottles of wine (-9 per cent), branded soft drinks (-10 per cent), mini-bar drinks (-9 per cent) and cocktails (-6 per cent).

By contrast, UK holidaymakers visiting long haul resorts not only expected more from their all Inclusive package but more of them were prepared to pay for extras. 76 per cent paid extra to get the holiday experience they wanted – six per cent more than a year ago.

However, long haul holidaymakers are more likely to find that a la carte meals, branded alcohol, water-sports and internet access are included in their All Inclusive package than those visiting European resorts. A survey of resorts worldwide by the Post Office Travel Money found that at least 80 per cent of European All Inclusive resorts excluded branded drinks and meals.

Only 20 per cent of European hotels included branded alcohol drinks in their All Inclusive packages and just 15 per cent offered complimentary mini-bars compared with 50 per cent of long haul hotels for both of these items. 80 per cent of long haul holidaymakers had complimentary internet access, compared with 65 per cent in Europe. And just 20 per cent included a la carte meals in Europe whereas 55 per cent did so in destinations further afield.

As a result one-in-seven – 2.75 million UK All Inclusive holidaymakers worldwide - collectively paid around £66 million to eat a la carte. Almost as many (2.6 million) spent nearly £41 million on bottles of wine – excluded by almost four-in-five of the All Inclusive resorts surveyed worldwide – in order to avoid glasses of budget house wine.

Against the backdrop of a rising UK pound, Post Office Travel Money also compared the cost of All Inclusive and B&B holidays. After adding the cost of eating in resort restaurants and buying drinks in local bars, it found that both couples and families could save money by booking a B&B holiday in several popular European resorts during the summer. These included the Spanish Costas, the Algarve, Ayia Napa in Cyprus and Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. Majorca was the only destination where the All Inclusive cost was lower.

Post Office Travel Money found that a July B&B package including meals and drinks for two people in the Algarve was £309 cheaper than an All Inclusive week’s holiday - £863 compared with £1,172 for two¹.

The savings for families in August were even better. In Ayia Napa a family of four could save themselves £342 by taking the B&B route to a week’s getaway during the school holidays (£2,290 for a B&B break compared with 2,632)². Similarly, in the Costa del Sol families could save themselves almost £293 (£1,476 for B&B; £1,769 for All Inclusive).

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “This year we found that twice as many holidaymakers had been on a European All Inclusive trip than on a long haul one. Since the research also showed that European resorts include far less, it is important for holidaymakers to budget carefully and do their homework to find out how much meals and other extras might add to their ‘All Inclusive’ trip.

“With the rise in the value of sterling, now worth around seven per cent more against the euro than a year ago, it is also worth checking whether going All Inclusive will save money. Our recent research has charted price falls in European restaurants and bars this year so it may be cheaper to book a B&B package and eat out each day to get a real flavour of their holiday destination.”

Currencies for the destinations surveyed are among 30 available on demand at 1,600 larger Post Office branches, while over 10,000 offer euro over the counter and 4,000 offer US dollars and Turkish lira. More than 70 currencies can be pre-ordered at over 11,500 Post Office branches or online at postoffice.co.uk for next day branch or home delivery.

Customers can purchase foreign currency in small as well as large amounts at Post Office branches across the UK - although higher rates are offered for bigger value transactions, both in branches and online.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Gabrielle O’Gara
Post Office Press Office
0207 250 2534 / 07436 034094
Gabrielle.ogara@postoffice.co.uk

Christine Ball
CBPR
01798 874177 / 07976 285997

A full breakdown of findings from the 2014 Post Office Travel Money All Inclusive Holiday Report can be found in the accompanying brochure.

¹Cheapest seven-night B&B and All Inclusive holiday packages for two adults available on travelsupermarket.com (23 June 2014), departing from London airports between 23 –29 July 2014. Package prices include return flights and three-star accommodation for two adults. For B&B packages the cost of seven evening meals, 14 beers and 14 Coca-Colas (taken from the latest Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer) was added to the package price to provide a comparison with All Inclusive.

Destination

7 nights’ B&B for 2 people

B&B package + meals & drinks

7 nights’ All Inclusive for 2

Which is cheapest?

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

£877.00

£1,052.91

£1,225.00

B&B by £172.09

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

£995.00

£1,236.50

£1,320.00

B&B by £83.50

Majorca, Spain

£645.00

£911.84

£859.00

AI by £52.84

Algarve, Portugal

£684.00

£863.20

£1,172.00

B&B by £308.80

Costa Blanca, Spain

£798.00

£1,017.45

£1,058.00

B&B by £40.55

Costa del Sol, Spain

£693.00

£902.00

£908.00

B&B by £8.00

²Cheapest seven-night B&B and All Inclusive holiday packages for two adults available on travelsupermarket.com (23 June 2014), departing from London airports between 9-16 August 2014. Package prices include return flights and three-star accommodation for two adults and two children. For B&B packages the cost of seven family evening meals, 14 beers and 14 Coca-Colas (taken from the latest Post Office Holiday Costs Barometer) was added to the package price to provide a comparison with All Inclusive.

Destination

7 nights’ B&B for a family of four

B&B package + meals & drinks

7 nights’ All Inclusive for 4

Which is cheapest?

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

£2,056.00

£2,310.59

£2,378.00

B&B by 67.41

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

£1,978.00

£2,289.99

£2,632.00

B&B by £342.01

Majorca, Spain

£1,321.00

£1,653.15

£1,560.00

AI by £93.15

Algarve, Portugal

£1376.00

£1643.47

£1,916.00

B&B by £272.53

Costa Blanca, Spain

£1338.00

£1668.19

£1,739.00

B&B by £70.81

Costa del Sol, Spain

£1212.00

£1476.18

£1,769.00

B&B by £292.82

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