Updates

    Press team

    New research* released today by ABTA reveals that the number of people booking a holiday in-store has risen, with almost one in five (19%) having done so over the last twelve months, up from 17% in 2015. The most affluent households, classified as social group A** are the most likely to book in-store, with over a third (35%) having done so. Young families also favour the high street, with 37% having booked a holiday in-store over the last twelve months.

    When it comes to different age groups, younger generations are more likely to book in-store, with 25-34 year olds leading the way at 29%. Use of high street retailers falls with age, with over-65s being the least likely to book in-store (13%).  This age group is most likely to book a holiday by phone (38%), suggesting that they particularly like to book holidays from the comfort of their home.

    There are some notable regional variations in the way people book their holidays, with a correlation between areas with larger cities and higher population densities and in-store bookings. Understandably, this suggests in-store booking is more popular in the areas where there are more shops. London (22%), the West Midlands (25%) and the North West (21%) all tracked higher than average for bookings in shops, while they were also high among Scots (25%) and the Northern Irish (27%). Online booking, by contrast, tracks above the nationwide average of 76% in the East Midlands (82%), Wales (81%) and the South West (81%).

    People are most likely to book in-store for trips to new destinations, holidays of 7 nights or more and city breaks. For these types of break, people particularly value the help, advice and expertise offered by travel experts, and seek out the personal touch for higher value trips such as a cruise or honeymoon.  They are less likely to book short breaks and domestic breaks in-store, suggesting they are more confident about booking these kind of trips independently.

    Table 1.1 – Holidays that people are most likely to book in store

     

    Trip to a new destination

    28%

    7 night plus break

    27%

    City break

    26%

    Honeymoon

    24%

    Cruise

    23%

    Table 1.2 – Holidays that people are least likely to book in store

    2-3 night short break

    9%

    Domestic break

    7%

    Victoria Bacon, ABTA Director of Brand and Business Development, said: “It is clear that many people value the advice, guidance and expertise offered by travel experts in-store. With an often bewildering choice of holidays on offer, many people appreciate an expert guiding them through this maze towards the best options for them, not least when a holiday may be an investment of thousands of pounds.  We have seen some exciting innovations in the industry in the last couple of years, with a number of travel businesses investing in expanded and improved in-store experiences for customers, recognising that this is a popular way for people to book.   With younger people the most likely to book in-store, the future for travel experts on the high street looks bright.”

    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.

    ** NRS social grades http://www.nrs.co.uk/nrs-print/lifestyle-and-classification-data/social-grade/