Press team

Package holidays are the most popular type of overseas holiday with more than half (53%) of British holidaymakers taking a package in the last year. This is an increase of 6% on 2015 and more than 10% on 2011, according to new research* from ABTA.

The growth in package holidays is being driven by the youngest and oldest age groups. Older holidaymakers showed the biggest increase in package bookings, with almost two thirds (63%) of people aged over 65 taking a package holiday last year, compared to 47% in 2015.

Younger holidaymakers discover the benefits of package holidays

The increase in numbers of 18-24 year olds booking a package holiday suggests that a new generation is discovering the benefits of the package. Over half (55%) of 18-24 year olds took a package holiday abroad in the last 12 months, compared to 46% in 2015. Value for money and “having everything taken care of” were the main motivators for young people.

Packages boom among the most affluent

Almost two thirds of people (62%) from the most affluent households, classified as social grade A**, took a package holiday abroad in the last year, a significant increase of 23% on the previous year when 39% did so. This may reflect the wide range and diversity of package holiday types now available, including luxury and tailor-made holidays, which appeal to every taste and budget.

People want ‘everything taken care of’

In a year of high profile international terrorist incidents, and change and uncertainties on the UK political stage, it appears people are seeking the support and protection offered by a package holiday.

“Having everything taken care of” is now the most popular reason for booking a package, with almost three quarters (73%) of consumers saying this. “Best value option for price”, which was the most popular reason in 2015, has slipped to second place at 59%. Financial protection has also increased significantly as a reason for booking a package – almost doubling from 16% in 2015 to 29% this year. This was particularly pronounced among 18-24 year olds, where the figure leapt from 16% in 2015 to 37% this year.

Other key reasons for booking a package include convenience (42%) and demand for all inclusives (36%).

Domestic packages remain steady

The UK domestic package market has remained steady over the past year, with one fifth (22%) of holidaymakers opting for one. Just over half the population (52%) booked travel or accommodation only, reflecting the fact that they are more likely to drive to UK holiday destinations and do not require travel.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “The growth in popularity of the package holiday is testament to the diversity of the types of package now available, appealing to all ages, tastes and budgets. Whilst the traditional beach break remains popular, holidaymakers can now enjoy the benefits of a package holiday on a much wider range of breaks. In the current climate, it is not surprising to see people responding to this and looking for the added support, security and convenience of a package holiday.”

Table 1.1 – Types of holiday booked over the past 12 months:




Package holiday where your travel and accommodation were included in the same price



Holiday where you booked travel and accommodation yourself, from different travel companies



Travel only or accommodation only for the purpose of a holiday




Table 1.2 – Numbers taking an overseas package holiday 2011-16













Table 1.3 – Reasons people choose a package:




Having everything taken care of (travel arrangements etc)



Best value option for price



Convenience (saves time)



I wanted an all-inclusive holiday



Reputation of the company



Financial protection



To be looked after in case something went wrong (eg ash cloud, civil unrest, strikes etc)



Someone else booked it



Don’t know/no particular reason/ it was what I was offered



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 

* Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd ( 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