ABTA predicts bumper holiday bookings this ‘Sunshine Saturday’
The association also reveals the top 23 destinations for 2023
ABTA – The Travel Association says this Saturday (7 January) is set to be a bumper day for holiday bookings, with would-be holidaymakers expected to hit the high street and go online to get their holidays confirmed early to secure the best price.
The first Saturday after the Christmas and New Year break is dubbed ‘Sunshine Saturday’ by the UK travel industry as it is typically the most popular day of the year to book a foreign trip.
ABTA research finds that 61% of people are planning to head abroad this year1 and around a third (31%) of people say they’re planning to book earlier than normal in order to get the best price for their holiday2.
This Sunshine Saturday is expected to be one of the busiest for a number of a years now that holidaymakers are no longer facing a heavy burden of Covid travel restrictions.
The lack of travel during the pandemic seems to have reinforced the love which many have for travel, with new figures from ABTA showing that 66% of people say going on holiday is very important to them3. Many people intend to prioritise their holidays ahead of other discretionary spend like eating out, leisure activities or buying new clothes.
ABTA has also published its ‘top 23 for 23’: the 23 most popular destinations people say they plan to visit this year. Staying closer to home seems to be the preference for most people, with a large proportion of the list being short to mid-haul destinations such as Spain, Turkey and the UAE, but destinations including the USA, Mexico, Thailand and Australia continue to have their draw as long-haul favourites4.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said:
"The start of the year usually brings lots of enthusiasm for booking holidays and we know many people will be really looking forward to getting away in 2023.
"People's appetite for holiday taking has remained remarkably resilient despite the ongoing pressure on people's finances, though there's definitely a strong focus on securing great value for money. Our number one piece of advice is to book with a reputable travel company, such as an ABTA Member travel agent or tour operator, who can help you find the holiday you’re looking for at the price you want to pay.”
ABTA’s Top 23 Destinations for 2023
15. United Arab Emirates
Notes to editors
1) ABTA’s Holiday Habits research, conducted in the last two weeks of August 2022 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 consumers.
2 & 3) ABTA’s consumer sentiment research, conducted in October 2022 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) with a nationally representative sample of 500 consumers.
4) ABTA’s Holiday Habits research, conducted in the last two weeks of August 2022 by The Nursery Research and Planning (www.the-nursery.net/) with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 consumers. ABTA’s top 23 destinations are the most popular answers in response to the question: Which countries are you planning to travel to in the next 12 months?
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 3,900 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.
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