Holidaymakers reject paying for sun loungers

Holidaymakers reject paying for sun loungers

Nine out of ten holidaymakers refuse to pay to reserve sunbeds, reveals research from World Travel Market London released today (Monday 5 November).

This summer Thomas Cook introduced a service allowing holidaymakers to pre-reserve sunbeds for their entire holiday at some of its hotels – for €25 per sun lounger (almost £23). It aims to stop the stress of ‘towel wars’ with some tourists feeling they have to dash out at dawn to bag a bed with their sun towel.

However, a poll by WTM London showed the idea has been dismissed by the vast majority of holidaymakers who are fed up with having to cough up for extras. Only 5% of those surveyed said they ‘definitely would’ pay to reserve a sunbed, and a further 5% said they ‘probably would’.

Called ‘Choose Your Favourite Sunbed’, the scheme is just the latest in a long line of add-on costs facing holidaymakers, and could see the average family of four forking out more than £90 on top of the cost of their holiday.

Airlines, operators and hotels now routinely charge for many perks that previously were free or part of the holiday package, such as selecting a seat on the plane, having baggage in the hold, taking luggage in the cabin and watching inflight entertainment.

Now the drive to increase profitability has seen holidaymakers having to pay extra for even more standard services such as wi-fi in hotels and safes in hotel rooms. In the WTM London poll, half of the UK holidaymakers surveyed said this extra charging is a ‘very bad idea’.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson said: “The Thomas Cook scheme was a trial at 50 hotels so it remains to be seen if the concept is a success.

“Reports suggested half the pre-bookable sunbeds were booked, with poolside loungers being snapped up first.

“However, other media reports said the plan was just a publicity stunt – but if it generates money and PR, it looks as if the idea will bed in.”


World Travel Market London takes place at ExCeL – London between Monday 5 November and Wednesday 7 November. Around 50,000 senior industry executives fly into London to agree deals worth more than £3 billion. These deals are the holiday routes, hotels and packages that holidaymakers will experience in 2019.

World Travel Market polled 1,025 2018 UK holidaymakers.



About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 5-7 November 2018 – London.

T>F Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural T>F Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 5 – 7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality.

WTM Latin America, now in its fifth edition, attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5 billion over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM will showcase more than 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 25-year history. Next event: 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.

International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. Taking place annually since 1998, IGTM brings together more than 500 golf tourism suppliers and 400 pre-qualified buyers for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments and exclusive networking opportunities. Showcasing a different golf destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from more than 65 countries. Next event: 15-18 October 2018 – Slovenia.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism events organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether they are global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

More information, please contact:

Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager


T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510


Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive


T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)74 0336 7331

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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