New research* from ABTA today reveals continuing strong demand for overseas package holidays. Analysis of people who took a foreign holiday in the 12 months to August 2013 shows that 46% of holidaymakers booked a package. This continues the strong showing for overseas packages in recent years which saw 48% of people who took a foreign holiday take a package in 2012, compared to 42% in 2011 and 37% in 2010.
The trend is particularly marked among families with young children under the age of 5, with half (51%) saying they had booked an overseas package holiday in 2013. The over 65s are the biggest fans of packages, with 54% of this age group taking a foreign package in the 12 months to August 2013.
Domestic packages have proved less popular than in 2012 when 23% took a package, in 2013 18% of people who took a domestic holiday booked a package, but this rises to a quarter (24%) of 16-24 year olds. However the figures do represent an increase on 2011, when 12% took a domestic package.
Care, convenience and good value
The most popular reason for booking a package is having everything taken care of, 65% of those who booked a package either in the UK or abroad gave this as a reason for booking a package. This is closely followed by the value offered, with 60% citing the package as offering the best value option for price. This was also the number one reason for booking a package amongst families. 38% cited the time saving benefit of a package, with women more likely to give this as a reason than men.
Financial Protection and being looked after in a crisis
Two other important considerations for consumers when choosing a package were financial protection at 22%, and being looked after if something went wrong, at 18%.
All-inclusive packages have grown significantly in popularity in recent years and 35% of those who took a package said that wanting to go all-inclusive was a key reason for booking a package. The over 65s are particularly keen on all-inclusives with almost half, 49%, citing this as a reason and women are big all-inclusive fans at 40%, compared to only 29% of men.
The future looks bright for all-inclusives with 15% of respondents taking an all-inclusive break in 2013 and 21% considering taking one in 2014.
Company reputation a factor
Company reputation was an important factor for a third of consumers (33%) when choosing a package, rising to four in ten (43%) of holidaymakers aged 65+.
Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Communications said: “These figures show that the renewed British love affair with the package holiday continues. Consumers very clearly appreciate the convenience, value and time saving benefits offered by a package. Although the traditional beach break package is still very popular, there are now a wide range of holiday and activity options, including tailor-made tours to far flung destinations, which can be packaged to suit the client’s interests and needs. On top of all this, consumers on package holidays receive the significant additional benefits of financial protection and being looked after by their tour operator in the event of a crisis.”
*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.