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Brief Published: 24 Feb 2020

UK Consumers’ Response to Coronavirus

UK consumers will shun overseas travel

Almost one-third (31%) of UK consumers will shun overseas travel if the coronavirus outbreak continues, according to new research from UK consultancy firm Retail Economics.

Up to £17bn ($22bn) of holiday spending may be put on hold as a result, though the decline in foreign trips will lead to a rise in domestic travel.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of Britons believe coronavirus poses a high threat to health in the UK, while 35% deem it a moderate risk and 42% consider it a low threat. "If the virus persists, consumers are likely to cut back in three main areas: holidays and travel, eating out and using public transport," said Retail Economics' chief executive Richard Lim. "Consumers will shift this spending elsewhere as they substitute what they would have spent abroad to other areas of the economy."