Travel, tourism and recreation market research

The global travel and tourism sector grew at a rate of around 4% in 2019, and has been growing faster than the world economy for eight consecutive years, although the coronavirus pandemic will clearly make 2020 extremely challenging year for this sector.

Contributing around USD9 trillion to the global economy and supporting over 300 million jobs worldwide, travel and tourism is a massive industry. The recreation industry is more difficult to define but the global sports market is estimated to be worth around USD500 billion a year and other forms of recreation may collectively generate an additional USD1 trillion or more each year.

In the UK, this sector is estimated to be worth around GBP180 billion annually, around 8% of GDP. The industry supports 3.8 million jobs across the country, although 54% of all inbound visitor spending is concentrated in London. The UK is one of the countries with the largest revenues from travel and tourism, along with the United States and Spain.

Globally, 1% of all market research conducted in 2018 was commissioned by travel and tourism clients.

FieldworkHub’s has supported a wide range of different projects in the travel, tourism and recreation sector including focus groups about airport duty free shopping in the UK, France and China, focus groups about the impact of a new high-speed rail line in the UK, and focus groups with football fans in Milan about the proposed redevelopment of the San Siro stadium. We have also arranged telephone interviews with owners of holiday cottages in the UK, depth interviews about applying for UK visas in India and the UAE, and run an online survey about travel insurance.


A row of colourful English holiday homes for leisure travellers in a seaside town on a sunny day

Telephone interviews with owners of self-contained holiday properties in the UK

Our client wanted to conduct telephone interviews lasting 15-30 minutes with UK-based self-contained holiday home owners who had advertised them for rent on various online platforms such as Airbnb, Sykes Cottages and Cottage Stay UK. The aim of the research was to understand preferences and dissatisfaction with existing platforms, and gain a general insight into the holiday home rental industry. We initially began by recruiting from our panel, and then turned to a free find approach when the criteria for interviewees changed during the course of the research. We successfully recruited 17 respondents in this niche market and our research was an input to a decision by two leading brands to buy out a major holiday home rental platform.

Happy female tourist showing her passport at airport check-in desk

UK user testing of online platform for business travel visas

A digital innovation agency had developed a new platform to simplify the process of applying for business travel visas. The new platform had already undergone extensive in-house trials but the agency wanted to test out the user experience from end to end with a sample of real visa applicants. FieldworkHub recruited UK passport holders who wanted to apply for a business visa in the next two weeks and arranged for them to submit their application through the platform. We needed to establish a high degree of trust since some of the respondents were required to submit their passports to complete the application process. We also arranged for each respondent to fill in a short feedback survey about the application process. Our work helped give the agency the confidence that they needed to launch the platform as a fully commercial service.

Man, woman and daughter on a sunny beach while on holiday

Online survey about brand awareness and perceptions of travel insurance

We designed, programmed and managed a survey to assist a UK-based online provider of travel insurance products find out widely recognised their brand name was, what attributes they associated with the brand and what factors were important to respondents when selecting travel insurance. We arranged for the survey to be completed by a nationally representative sample of 500 UK residents who had taken at least one foreign holiday in the last 12 months. Once the fieldwork was completed, we delivered a comprehensive report on the findings.