11 Oct

Many could take a holiday in the time they take to book one

Booking through a Travel Professional Beats the Clock

ABTA research reveals today that many people booking DIY holidays are spending hours behind a desk booking and researching travel arrangements to a new destination. One in five [19%] of independent travellers spend seven hours or more researching destinations, 11% spend seven hours or more checking prices for travel and 13% spend the same timechecking accommodation prices. In total independent travellers could be investing the equivalent of three working days booking and researching their holidays.  

While some people might enjoy researching and booking destinations, particularly for complicated itineraries, others may not realise the time it takes to look into all the options available. The research shows that only about half [53%] of people believe that booking with a travel professional will save them time yet when it comes to their behaviour they’re spending longer on DIY arrangements.

Those who want to save time on researching and booking a holiday would be well advised to use a travel professional (either a travel agent or tour operator). The number of those spending seven hours or more using a travel professional drops considerably, to 7% researching destinations, 6% checking travel prices and 7% checking accommodation prices. Additionally, a much higher percentage of people who use travel professionals were able to complete these parts of the booking process in just 1-2 hours compared to those who booked DIY holidays.*

Victoria Bacon, Head of Communications ABTA said: “Holidays are a big expenditure for many people and it’s only natural to spend some time making sure you book the right trip. However, it’s clear that a lot of people are investing considerable amounts of their own time and effort making their travel arrangements when booking a DIY holiday, to the extent they could take a mini-break in the time taken.The findings show that people may not realise it, but booking with a travel professional can save them a lot of time. Travel professionals are ideally placed to steer customers through the vast amount of travel choices available, quickly building itineraries that work and getting them the best deals both in terms of value and quality of experience.”

*35% of those who booked independently took 1-2 hours to research a new destination compared to 52% of those who used a travel professional; 46% of those who booked independently took 1-2 hours to check travel prices compared to 50% of those who used a travel professional; 44% of those who booked independently took 1-2 hours to check accommodation prices compared to 56% of those who used a travel professional

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.