Press team

New research* by ABTA shows that despite the continued growth in sales of mobile phones and tablets in the UK, when it comes to booking holidays online, the PC continues to be by far the most popular booking device.

Table 1.1 – Which of the following devices have you used to book a holiday online? **

 

Average

18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

PC/laptop

92%

91%

84%

91%

95%

97%

95%

Tablet

23%

22%

37%

28%

22%

16%

10%

Phone

13%

19%

27%

19%

6%

0%

1%

ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2016 reveals that bookings on tablets have remained fairly flat since last year, with 23% of online bookers using them compared to 24% last year. An increase in 35-54 year olds using them has been offset by a fall in 18-24 year olds doing so. People aged 25-34 were the least likely to use a PC but the most likely to use a tablet with almost four in ten (37%) doing so.

Mobile phones are less popular as a device for booking than they were a year ago, 13% of people stated that they booked a holiday using a mobile phone, down from an average of 16% in 2015, apart from among 35-44 year olds, (where they have increased by 3% from 16% to 19%). There are particularly notable falls among 18-24 year olds (34% in 2015) and those aged over 55 (6% in 2015).

Our research suggests that this could be because people find the mobile booking experience more difficult, 44% of people said that they found booking with a mobile phone easy compared to 80% who said the same about booking with a PC. 54% stated that booking with a tablet was easy.

The research also shows that people like to book their holidays in a variety of way: online, over the phone and in-store. Booking online remains the most popular way to book a holiday, holding steady at 76% (69% in 2015, 73% in 2014).  A fifth (19%) booked a holiday in-store and a similar figure booked by phone (21%). Among those aged over 65 phone bookings were particularly popular, with 38% using this channel to book a holiday. People aged 25-34 were the most likely to book in store with almost one in three (29%) booking a holiday in this way. People aged 45-54 and those with older children were the groups most likely to book a holiday online with four out of five (82%) doing so.

Table 1.2 – How did you book your holiday in the past 12 months? **

 

Average

18-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

65+

Online

76%

67%

77%

81%

82%

76%

74%

Over the phone

21%

14%

17%

14%

17%

27%

38%

In person (e.g. in store)

19%

22%

29%

23%

13%

14%

13%

Someone else booked the holiday(s)

11%

17%

7%

8%

7%

13%

12%

Victoria Bacon, ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development commented: “Mobile phones are important to consumers during the research and ‘discovery’ stage of purchasing a holiday, but when it comes to actually booking, they’re clearly still lagging a long way behind the PC, and to a lesser extent tablets. Other research has shown consumers tend to prefer devices with larger screens when they’re paying larger sums of money, and our research supports this trend in the holiday market.”

About ABTA

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £33.07 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member or Partner means, and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com. 

* Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in leisure and tourism market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated responses from a nationally representative sample of 1962 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2016. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2016.

** Numbers do not add up to 100% as respondents were asked about all holidays they have taken