15 Jul

Despite continuing disruption, there’s public positivity about travel professionals

Turmoil in the travel and tourism sector continues, not least in yesterday’s latest traffic light update which sees the Balearics move back to amber status.  It’s a step back after recent moves to open up travel and shows again the need for our sector to receive financial support. You can see our full response to that announcement here.

Despite the disruption, though, it’s helpful to also take stock of how consumer sentiment is changing overall and to see what clues it might give for the future.

We have just received the results of the latest research into perceptions of the ABTA brand and attitudes towards travel. It’s heartening to see the faith which consumers seem to have not just in ABTA but in you, our Members, too.

Among the findings are that consumers are 25% more likely to book with a travel professional now than before the pandemic started. Key reasons are that customers trust professionals to look after them, and want to make use of their knowledge and expertise.

And the public is also 25% more likely to book a package holiday than it was pre-Covid. Value for money, financial protection and convenience were commonly-cited reasons.

The ABTA brand continues to resonate positively with the public too. Around three quarters of people associate ABTA with the words ‘reassuring’, ‘experts’, ‘safe’, ‘confidence’ and ‘reliable’. ABTA Members, and those who use the ABTA logo, will benefit from this.

Our sector has been battered and, of course, we are by no means out of the woods yet – the Balearics announcement yesterday is the latest example of that. Once we do come through this, though, the trust which consumers are placing in travel agents and tour operators should help give some confidence for the future.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive