New research* released by ABTA today reveals a strong increase in demand in the past year for both domestic and overseas package holidays.
Analysis of people who took at least one foreign holiday in the 12 months to July 2014 reveals that 51% of holidaymakers booked a package. This increase continues an overall trend of growth in the market for overseas packages – 46% of people in 2013 booked a package, 48% in 2012, 42% in 2011 and 37% in 2010.
People aged 65 and over remain the biggest fans of the overseas package at 61%. Overseas packages are also particularly attractive to families with 53% of those with children under five years old having booked one, rising to 59% for those with children over five.
There has also been strong growth in domestic packages with 24% having taken a package holiday in the UK in 2014, up from 18% in 2013, 23% in 2012 and double the number in 2011 when only 12% of consumers said they had taken a domestic package holiday.
Why do consumers want an overseas or domestic package holiday?
They like being looked after, the great value and the convenience
When asked why they had booked either an overseas or domestic package, consumers overwhelmingly responded that having everything taken care of (62%) and the best value option for price (61%) were their main reasons.
All-inclusives and company reputation
The UK love affair with all-inclusives remains strong with 34% citing this as a reason for booking a package, similar to 2013 when 35% cited it as a reason, perhaps reflecting ongoing pressures on family finances. Similarly, the reputation of the company providing the holiday is important for many, with 33% citing trust in a reputable brand as a reason for booking a package.
Financial protection and crisis cover
The financial protection offered by a package is also a strong consideration when booking and has risen to 24% up from 22% in 2013. The percentage of people looking for the security of being looked after in case something goes wrong has also risen slightly to 19%, up from 18% in 2013. Even younger consumers want the security of knowing they will be looked after if something goes wrong – one in three (27%) of those aged 16-24 cited financial protection and being looked after if something went wrong as reasons for booking a package.
Victoria Bacon ABTA Head of Communications said “One of the key booking trends of recent years has been the resurgence of the package holiday.
"The message from consumers is loud and clear that many of them love having everything taken care of and the great value offered by a package. Consumers also now better understand that there are now a huge variety of packages available catering for every budget and taste.”
*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 2001 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2014. Fieldwork was conducted in July 2014.
A full summary of the research findings can be found in our Consumer Holiday Trends Report 2014.