28 May

ABTA engagement reaches record levels during crisis

Today ABTA – The Travel Association releases new data which shows record levels of engagement with Members and consumers, indicating the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the travel sector for individuals and for companies.

During what has been an exceptionally challenging time for the industry and customers, ABTA has significantly increased its activity with the aim of ensuring both Members and their customers receive accurate information and guidance on various aspects of the crisis, including changes to FCO advice, repatriation information and refunds for cancelled holidays. 

New figures show over one million views of the abta.com ‘Coronavirus advice for customers’ page since it went live at the start of February with an average dwell time of 8.5 minutes.  

To keep up with demand for information among customers, ABTA has added additional resource to its Customer Support team which fields phone calls and emails from customers and continues to work remotely whilst the office remains closed. With a year-on-year increase of 175% in call volumes waiting times remain low. 

ABTA has also been handling a record volume of media activity, managing thousands of media enquiries covering often difficult and complex subjects such as refund delays and financial protection arrangements. Since the start of the crisis, the Association has been involved in nearly 3,000 media interventions including interviews, statements and press releases. This includes over 70 national TV interviews including multiple interviews with BBC News, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV News, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

ABTA’s round the clock Operational Bulletins have kept Members informed of developments as they have unfolded during the crisis. In addition, ABTA has introduced weekly Conference Calls for its Members, issued regular ABTA Today email bulletins and video messages from its Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer. Since the start of March, ABTA’s weekly Conference Calls have had well over 2,000 attendees, with ABTA encouraging a representative from each Member to attend and submit questions in advance with recordings of the calls available to all. Online, ABTA’s Member-only advice hub has had over 8,000 views.

The Association has also supported Members by introducing a programme of free webinars set up with ABTA Partners, which are an addition to other Partner services that ABTA provides. Nine webinars have been conducted so far, with 1570 Member registrations. To find out more and register visit: www.abta.com/events/webinars-on-demand

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, says, “This has been an exceptionally difficult time for our Members and their customers. The industry has never experienced a crisis of this scale and severity, we’re continuing to do all we can to lobby political decision-makers for support.

“We’re also putting enormous effort into keeping our Members and their customers informed about what is going on and ensuring they have the latest detailed and accurate information and guidance. The sheer speed and scale of developments has made this challenging, but that is our job as an Association and we will continue to do so while this crisis continues.”

About ABTA

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.