Holiday Habits 2023-24

ABTA's Holiday Habits report 2023-24
Holiday Habits 2023-24

Our latest Holiday Habits research shows holidays are proving resilient in the face of wider economic and operational challenges. 

In the past 12 months, the travel industry has continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic against a backdrop of an ongoing rise in the cost of living. High energy bills, increased mortgage and rent payments and an uplift in day-to-day costs such as food and transport are among the price rises that have been putting a strain on household budgets. 

The industry has also experienced a number of natural, man-made and technological challenges – from wildfires to strikes and an unprecedented air traffic control outage.  

Despite this, bookings and confidence in travel are strong. 

Overall, 84% of people went on holiday during the last year and 52% took a trip abroad. Of those who took a foreign trip, 61% went on a package holiday – the main market for many of the businesses in ABTA membership. 

This appetite for travel looks set to continue into next year, with 64% of people saying they plan to take a trip overseas.  

The ongoing commitment to holidays is a reflection of people’s confidence in travel. For the first time ABTA has published a Travel Confidence Index, which shows remarkably high levels of confidence to travel overseas, notwithstanding the economic climate and events of the past year. 

We also explore a growing trend for ‘all-year-round travel’. Since the pandemic, members have reported an increasing number of people travelling outside of peak periods. That’s shown in our data, with May and June the most popular months for overseas travel in the coming year, and with a similar number of people saying they’ll head abroad in September and October as in July and August. Members are responding to the demand by extending the seasons in some destinations, such as Turkey and Greece, and adding in extra capacity. 

We also look at how sustainability affected people’s holiday bookings and find half of people who travelled over the last 12 months said they took sustainability into consideration when making their holiday choice. This is a reminder of just how important it is for the industry to continue its journey to make travel more sustainable. 

It’s clear from our findings that the travel industry has shown remarkable resilience this year. ABTA members are working hard to meet their customers’ needs, helping them get the best value break to suit their budget and aspirations and supporting them if something does go wrong. All this chimes with ABTA’s mission to help people travel with confidence. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive