Seven out of ten (71%) people regard ABTA Membership as essential or important when booking their travel arrangements, up from 68% in 2012, according to research conducted by Arkenford for ABTA*. Consumers also continue to associate ABTA with being confident, reassuring, safe and reliable.
ABTA continues to be by far the most recognised travel industry trade body among UK consumers with a 74% public recognition factor. After ABTA, ATOL is the most recognised travel trade industry brand (53%) followed by IATA (28%) and AITO (11%).
Awareness of ABTA across the whole population is slightly lower than 2012 (78%), however, awareness has risen amongst consumers who take holidays, with eight in ten (82%) of those who took a holiday in 2013 recognising the ABTA logo compared to 77% last year.
Young people’s awareness of ABTA has held steady from last year with 38% of 16-24 year olds recognising the ABTA logo, the same number as 2012. This represents a 7% increase from 2010.
The findings also show that understanding of what ABTA does has improved amongst consumers, particularly with regards to ABTA’s role in dispute settling and setting standards for the industry to work to. 62% of consumers are aware of ABTA’s dispute settling service compared to 54% last year and two thirds (65%) are aware of ABTA’s role in setting standards compared to 58% last year.
Consumers continue to have a clear understanding of ABTA’s role with 85% seeing the Association as representing the travel industry. Seven in ten also (68%) see ABTA as representing consumer interests, an increase of 8% from 2012.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “It is very promising to see understanding of the full role that ABTA plays increase. Our Code of Conduct, dispute settling service and work to improve standards in the industry set us apart from other trade associations and consumers are increasingly recognising this. In the last 12 months we have launched a number of initiatives aimed at deepening consumer understanding of ABTA’s work and encouraging consumers to look for the logo when they book, and it is pleasing to see these have had a positive impact.”
*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.