Rome top as travel spending jumps by 25% Sales of luggage, scales and caravans up sharply

29 March 2010

John Lewis store

John Lewis will accept return gifts if they can be re-sold

New research from the John Lewis & Waitrose partnership card reveals that overall consumer spending on travel was up 25% in February compared with the same time last year.

More consumers are heading on holiday abroad, with spend on airlines up 37% year-on-year in February. Holidays (23%), travel agencies (25%) and hotels (19%) also enjoyed the boost in business in 2010. Rome has overtaken New York as travellers' top destination, with Berlin jumping from ninth to fourth position amongst Greenbee Travel (John Lewis' insurance division) customers.

John Lewis is also celebrating a jump in luggage sales, with the Samsonite Cordoba up 120% year on year, while sales of Design Go digital luggage scales were also up 32%, as holidaymakers seek to check their weight allowance before they arrive at the airport.

Good news for UK tourist industry too

Despite the increased number of holidaymakers seeking an overseas break, there is good news for the UK tourist industry in the new figures. Partnership card spend on caravans and motor homes is up 26% year-on-year.

Get the right credit card and travel insurance

Martyn Saville, Which? Principal Researcher, commented: 'While these figures are undoubtedly good news for the travel industry, consumers still want to get the most out of their money. If you're heading off on holiday, it's vital to choose a competitively-priced travel insurance policy that offers sufficient cover for your needs. All our Which? Best Buy travel insurance policies offer a minimum level of cover, so you can jet off with peace of mind.

'Travellers can also save money by choosing the right credit card. If you pay off your bill in full every month, paying for your holiday on a Which? Best Rate cashback credit card not only gives you extra consumer protection if anything goes wrong with your holiday, but it also gives you a proportion of your spending back as cash. 

'And if you're planning to use your credit card for purchases while you're on holiday abroad, make sure you check out Which? Best Rate credit cards for overseas use. While most credit cards charge around 2.75% extra for overseas purchases, the Post Office MasterCard and the Santander Zero credit card both charge no extra fee on worldwide purchases. Nationwide and Saga also charge no extra fee, but only within Europe.'

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.