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Experian Mosaic UK

Experian Mosaic UK is the leading classification of UK consumers.

The rise of the “Tupperware Tourist”

Experian research reveals UK’s new breed of ‘social media savers’ as Middle Britons go online for bargain getaways and recommendations

London, 11 April 2011 - A summer season of holiday spending cutbacks is planned by Middle Britons according to new research into this core demographic from Experian released today.

The research, based on a survey of two thousand people and analysis from Experian’s consumer classification tool, Mosaic, reveals that over a quarter (28%) of Middle Britons intend to forgo a holiday this year due to financial pressures. This trend is most prevalent in the south east where nearly two fifths (38%) of people claim to be sacrificing their summer getaway. Of those still planning a holiday, over a quarter (28%) are ‘staycationing’ in Britain – signaling a potential boost to the UK travel industry.

Of those who are heading to sunnier climes, a significant proportion will be making sacrifices while they are away. Experian’s research suggests that Middle Britain’s holidaymakers will be cutting back on holiday spending:

  • Tupperware tourists: a quarter (24%) will take packed lunches rather than eat out
  • No-sightseers: two fifths (42%) will go on fewer excursions
  • Memento misers: over a quarter (29%) will stop buying souvenirs for friends and family
  • Tented travellers: one in 10 (12%) will camp rather than stay in hotels

Aside from spending money, the approximate amount Middle Britain households say they intend to spend on flights and accommodation this year is £1248.58 which, on average, is £891.22 less than last year.

Experian first defined Middle Britain in December 2010 using its insight tool Mosaic which uses over 400 social and economic variables to better understand consumers. In Experian’s view, Middle Britain today is represented by 13.1 million people making up nearly a quarter of the population (21%). This definition of Middle Britain is based on a series of key statistical measures including income, age, car ownership, type of house, number of holidays, attitudes and behaviours. Based on Experian’s analysis, the picture that emerges of Middle Britain is of a group that is pressurised, faces many challenges and is more complex than might be expected. Middle Britain is no longer epitomised just by middle managers living with their families in leafy suburbs but instead spans the full cultural spectrum of UK life.

No more British reserve
Middle Britons are set to shake off the British reserve and any reluctance to complain when on holiday. Two thirds (66%) say they will be demanding better customer service and better value for money – a massive 82% say value for money is the most important consideration when making holiday decisions.

Nigel Wilson, Managing Director, Experian Marketing Information Services, UK & Ireland, said:
“Our latest analysis sends a clear message to the travel industry, and brands as a whole, that Middle Britain’s modern consumers will be more demanding than ever before and want more for their hard-earned cash. The brands which will be the winners in this new consumer order are those which respond best to this need – understanding exactly who their customers and how to engage with them both in store and online.”

“Social media savers”
Middle Britons are also embracing the power of social media and online tools to help find the best getaway deals and customer experience. Three quarters (74%) are positively influenced by recommendations from friends on social media networks and a massive 83% say their general perception of a product or brand is influenced, for better or for worse, by comments they see online. Over half (56%) are influenced by voucher sites like Groupon and almost the same proportion (57%) regularly respond to email offers. Cutting back on accommodation this year is a key consideration for Middle Britons. Online analysis from Experian Hitwise shows that Middle Britons are visiting more discount travel sites, accounting for over 50% of visits in some cases.

Nigel Wilson said: “Tripadvisor is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consumers sharing holiday tips and advice. It is important that brands embrace the full power of social media to build their customer relationships, manage their profile and ultimately boost sales.”

Favourite destinations
Spain is the top destination this year for Middle Britons seeking summer sun – one in ten (13%) plan to visit, making Spain twice as popular as France (6%). British seaside resorts could also be set for a revival with more than two fifths (45%) of Middle Britons planning a British beach break. The top five most popular seaside spots are:

  • Devon (14% plan to visit this year)
  • Brighton (11%)
  • Blackpool (11%)
  • Southwold (11%)
  • Bournemouth (10%)

This trend is borne out by Hitwise website analysis which shows Middle Britain making up the greatest proportion of visitors to websites like: Woburn Abbey (38%); Pontin’s (35%); and Centre Parcs (34%).

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