30 Oct

ABTA launches The Travel Confidence Index at the 2023 Travel Convention

  • ABTA’s new index measures how confident the UK population is currently feeling about travelling overseas, with a first score of +41.
  • Package holidaymakers and people who book with travel professionals are among the most confident to travel, with scores of +70 and +72 respectively.
  • The Index also identifies where travel companies can take the most effective action to boost customer confidence levels.

As hundreds of industry delegates gather in Bodrum for the first day of ABTA’s 2023 Travel Convention, ABTA has today (30 October) revealed the results of its first overseas Travel Confidence Index.
The Index reveals a score of +41 for the UK population overall; with more positive scores, and therefore higher confidence, among certain age groups and types of travellers. 
Those who took a package holiday in the last year and those who booked with a travel professional returned some of the most positive scores (+70 and +72 respectively), while those aged 25-34 (+53) and families (+52) also demonstrated higher than average confidence to travel. The over 65s were among those feeling less confident to travel than average, at +33.
These scores were generated by asking a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults to rate how confident they are currently feeling about taking an overseas holiday on a scale of 1 to 10. Excluding those rating themselves as neutral (5 to 6), the scores are calculated by taking away the percentage who rate themselves as either ‘not or less confident’ (1 to 4) from the percentage who rate themselves as ‘somewhat or extremely confident’ (7 to 10). 
The overall score of +41 is therefore generated by taking away the 20% of respondents who said they had low confidence levels (1 to 4) from the 61% of respondents who said they had high confidence levels (7 to 10).
The Travel Confidence Index also provides insight into the actions that travel businesses can take to build consumer confidence to travel, with the same respondents given a list of potential ‘confidence boosters’ when travelling overseas and asked to rank them as essential, important, nice to have or not important. 
The top-rated essential elements were knowing they have a valid passport and/or visa, rated as essential by 67%, followed by taking out travel insurance (54%), showing travel companies can clearly add value by helping their customers get these travel fundamentals in place.
Other essential elements were linked to financial concerns and pointed to the role that package holidays can play in delivering a good dose of consumer confidence. 53% of respondents rated being able to get home if their travel company goes bust as essential, followed by knowing the total price in advance (49%) and having financial protection in case their travel company goes bust (49%). 
Two in five (41%) people said that booking with an ABTA member was essential, and a further 35% said it was important, underlining the benefits to businesses of displaying their membership credentials.
Graeme Buck, Director of Communications at ABTA – The Travel Association, said:
“A fundamental part of ABTA’s role is to help people ‘Travel with confidence’ and is one of the reasons why people respect the ABTA brand so much.
“By launching our Travel Confidence Index, we plan to provide an annual measure of how confident people are feeling about overseas travel and why, so the industry can capitalise on positive sentiment.
“Given the extreme heat and wildfires in some holiday destinations this year, and that the NATS outage happened during the period in which we interviewed respondents, a score of +41 does show some remarkable positivity among the UK population. 
“We’ll be continuing to support our members’ efforts to boost their customers’ confidence however we can.”
The Travel Confidence Index is available to read in full here and will also be discussed at the Travel Convention on Wednesday 1 November.
Notes to editors
About the research 
Statistics are from ABTA’s 2023 Holiday Habits survey, carried out in the last two weeks of August 2023 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net) with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults.
About ABTA
ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 4,600 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.
Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. When you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind.
ABTA also offers services to help you on your travels – ABTA Travel Insurance and ABTA Travel Money.
All this together means we help you travel with confidence.