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M&S Travel Money reports families are tipping too much on holiday


M&S Travel Money has released new research which shows that British families could save up to £135* in holiday spending money just by investing a few minutes reading up on the tipping etiquette for the country they are visiting.

The survey by M&S Travel Money found that almost 40% of British holidaymakers don’t familiarise themselves with expected gratuities and customs before they travel and as a result will regularly hand out unnecessary amounts of cash in tips which can add up to as much as 30% of their total holiday spending funds.

The research found that:
- One in six Brits believe it is customary to tip in Japan - a country where tipping is actually deemed highly insulting
- 39% of British women admit they don’t know where tipping rules do and don’t apply vs 28% men
- 55+ is the age group least informed about tipping expectations and as a results are the most likely to find themselves out of pocket
- 1 in 10 Britons finds themselves ’caught short’ with less spending money than anticipated due to an oversight regarding tips

James Yerkess, M&S Travel Money Manager and author of the brand’s newly launched online Tip Advisor Guide, said: "Whilst the eyes of cash conscious holidaymakers are eagerly scouring for the best holiday deals, this new research exposes a significant and forgotten holiday cost factor.

“Most British families don’t consider the additional cost of customary tipping in countries like the USA, Egypt and some parts of Europe. They will also often pay over the odds by not knowing expected tip requirements - and if it’s required at all. For example, over 40% of Brits think it is customary to leave a tip in Italy. Many therefore could have tipped unnecessarily in Italian restaurants as tips are not expected in this country for standard service.”

The research also reveals that during these recessionary times, one in ten Brits will be staying ’tight tipped’ this summer admitting they are less likely to tip due to the recession.

For those Brits travelling this summer and looking to keep a careful eye on their cash flow, M&S Travel Money has launched a free online Tip Advisor Guide which details global tipping etiquette, clearly highlighting who and when to tip and listing regional expectations and tip recommendations to help avoid unnecessary expenditure.

James Yerkess added: “It will prove a valuable cash saving travel tool for roaming Brits this summer - at no cost whatsoever.”

- Ends -

Notes to editiors:
*30% based on research by (May 09).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc carried out on behalf of M&S Travel Money. Total sample size was 2017 adults. Online fieldwork undertaken 27th-29th May 2009. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a topten credit card provider and the secondlargest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including travel insurance, home insurance, car insurance, loans, savings and investment products.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ’the world’s local bank’.

M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

For further information please contact:
Simon Coughlin
Media Relations Manager
M&S Money
8 Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5HQ
+44 (0) 207 992 1574


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