21 Oct

ABTA reveals consumers’ top 10 essentials for booking a holiday

Consumers continue to seek protection and reassurance when booking a holiday, ABTA’s 2013 Consumer Trends Survey* has revealed. Financial protection, ABTA Membership and ATOL protection remain in the top 5 places of consumers’ holiday booking requirements, with the number of people citing these booking elements as essential or important increasing for all three.

Safe and secure accommodation topped the list of booking essentials with nearly nine in ten (86%) of customers citing this as essential or important, an increase from 83% in 2012. Value for money completes the list of the top 5 booking essentials, with seven in ten (70%) consumers citing this as important. This figure remains static from last year. Likewise the importance of having the lowest prices has decreased slightly and dropped below the range of holidays on offer.

Membership of ABTA has slightly increased in importance and overtaken value for money with 71% of people citing it as essential or important, compared with 68% in 2012.  There was a significant jump among the number of Scots who view ABTA membership as a priority, with 86% seeing it as essential or important compared to 76% in 2012. Similarly, the importance of ATOL protection has seen an increase year-on-year, emphasizing the priority consumers place on peace of mind when booking a holiday.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said “We know how important holidays are for people both in psychological and financial terms, so it makes sense that safety, protection and value for money continue to be highly valued. With some signs of economic optimism, it is perhaps not surprising to see that lowest prices have fallen slightly as a priority and that instead people are focusing on assurance and quality so they can relax and enjoy themselves on holiday.”

Table 1.1 - Top ten booking elements rated as essential or important by consumers**

  Consumer's Holiday Booking Essentials 2013 % Consumer's Holiday Booking Essentials 2012 %
1. Safe and secure accommodation 86 Safe and secure accommodation 83
2. Financial protection 79 Financial protection 77
3. ATOL protection 77 ATOL protection 71
4. ABTA membership 71 Value for money (but not necessarily the lowest price) 70
5. Value for money (but not necessarily the lowest price) 70 ABTA membership 68
6. Knowledgeable staff 67 Knowledgeable staff  68
7. Ease of transport connections to the airport 62 Ease of transport connections to the airport 60
8. Range of holidays on offer 58  Lowest prices 60
9. Lowest prices 57 Range of holidays on offer 58
10. Flexibility in arrangements 49 A well-known name in the industry 50

*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 August 2013. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2013.

** Consumers were asked to rate 14 options as ‘Essential’, ‘Important’, ‘Nice to have’ and ‘Not important’