10 Oct

ABTA research shows increase in package holiday bookings

Package holidays are on the rise while DIY holidays drop in popularity

New research from ABTA today reveals that more holidaymakers are booking package holidays. In 2012 nearly half (48%) of people booked an overseas package holiday, compared to 42% in 2011 and 37% in 2010. The trend is particularly marked among 35-44 year olds: over half (51%) said they had booked an overseas package holiday in 2012, compared with just over a third (36%) in 2011.

The findings show there has been a slight decrease in the number of people booking and paying for their travel and accommodation separately – or “DIY” bookings. 39% of people said they booked an overseas DIY holiday in 2012 compared to 43% in 2011.

Domestic packages also on the increase

Packages have also proven popular for domestic holidays this year, with nearly a quarter (23%) booking a UK package holiday. This compares with one in ten (12%) in 2011 and 14% in 2010.  DIY holidays at home have also seen a slight decrease in popularity with 36% booking one last year compared to 34% this year.

Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications, ABTA said: “In recent years consumers have come to value the security and cost effectiveness that package holidays provide. At the same time the market has also evolved to offer greater choice to holidaymakers.  Research shows safe and secure accommodation, financial protection, ATOL protection and ABTA membership are at the top of people’s booking essentials and packages can offer all of these, plus an easy booking process and great value for money. Many people are also realising that there are a huge variety of package holidays now available.  The market has evolved massively and is now very sophisticated, with packages to cater for every taste and budget – whether you want two weeks all-inclusive in the sun, a cruise around Asia or an adventure holiday in South America.”

More people value services of travel agents

The number of people booking an overseas holiday through a high street travel agent rose slightly in 2012, with 27% booking through a high street travel agent compared to 25% in 2011.

The findings also reveal that people feel more positively towards travel agents than they did a year ago, with 40% saying that they value the services that a travel agent offers compared to 30% last year. A third (36%) of respondents also said they preferred the reassurance of dealing with a person, up from 28% in 2011. Women and travellers aged 15-34 were more likely than average to value the services of a travel agent.

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.