28 Dec

Value for money key to travel in 2011

ABTA’s Travel Trends 2011 Report says that against a harsh economic backdrop, British travellers will continue to seek value for money in 2011. Seventy-four per cent of travellers believe that the greatest value for money – but not necessarily the lowest prices, is an essential or important booking element.

With the pound falling against the euro over recent years, British travellers have discovered non-eurozone destinations in their droves. Turkey and Egypt will again experience a successful year as the high standard of holidays on offer at good prices has consistently provided good value for money. Next year will also see competitors, such as Tunisia, Syria and Abu Dhabi climb the ranks of popularity as investment in tourist infrastructure comes to fruition.

Enthusiasm for our favourite short haul destinations in Europe is also set to be reignited, as it is likely that the pound will finally rally against the euro in 2011.

The UK cruise market prides itself on value for money, with an all-inclusive price structure which includes accommodation, entertainment and meals. This combination together with attentive service, innovative products and great headline prices will see cruising grow to 1.77 million UK passengers next year. Seven new ships are launching to the UK market in 2011 further increasing UK cruise options.

Despite cutbacks, travel is still seen by the majority in the UK as an essential, and all-inclusives again will be popular in 2011. 

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “While cost will be high in customers’ consciousness in 2011, so is their desire to get the best experience for their money. Travel companies who pride themselves on good service and provide excellent holidays will win custom. ABTA and its Members will continue to strive for high professional standards in 2011 and offer value, quality and a fantastic range of choices.”

FCO spokesperson Lynda St Cooke said:  “It’s interesting to note the trends highlighted in this report.  People are clearly seeking to watch their budgets, which will lead some to stay with friends and family rather than in hotels.  It’s easy to assume that, if you are visiting friends or relatives, they’ll look after you so you don’t need to take any health precautions or take out travel insurance.  But our consular staff regularly have to help people who have run into problems because they haven’t made these basic preparations, so it’s important to remember to consult your GP’s surgery before you go, and take out travel insurance to avoid the risk of you or your family being billed for thousands of pounds. 

There’s clearly an increase in holidays in “mid haul” destinations.  It’s vital to understand a bit about your destination: not knowing about local law won’t stop you being imprisoned for breaking it. It’s worth researching the laws and customs of the country you are visiting, so as not to get caught out.  There is plenty of general and country-specific advice on the Foreign Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.”

Read more about how smartphones are revolutionising travel information, how responsible holidays have gone mainstream, that air passenger duty will be one of the biggest issues taxing the travel industry  and how ABTA will be working to make sure holidaymakers will be better protected in ABTA’s Travel Trends 2011 Report.