Press team

ABTA’s Annual MP Holiday Survey reveals MPs' plans for a holiday abroad

As an estimated 25 million UK holidaymakers head overseas for their summer holidays, the fifth annual ABTA MP Holiday Survey, carried out by ComRes, shows that most MPs are likely to be taking a holiday abroad this summer. The findings show that over three quarters (77%) of MPs responded that they are likely to have a holiday overseas* in 2015, up from 69% in 2014.

On the heels of a hard-fought election campaign, more MPs are choosing a holiday abroad compared to last year. Eight in ten (82%) Conservative MPs and seven in ten (73%) Labour MPs say they are likely to have a holiday abroad this summer, compared to last year’s figures of 72% and 63% respectively. 73% of SNP MPs have reported that they are planning a holiday overseas this summer.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will be holidaying in Portugal, as well as taking two domestic holidays in Cornwall and Scotland. Many MPs are also expected to have a domestic break over this Parliamentary recess.

The survey also asked MPs whether they take out travel insurance when they go abroad. Four in five (82%) MPs report that they always take out travel insurance when holidaying abroad. Worryingly, 15% state that they don’t always take out travel insurance when going overseas, so running the risk of substantial medical and air ambulance costs. This is in comparison to 1 in 5 (21%) of the general public who do not take out travel insurance when they go abroad**.

There appears to be some confusion amongst MPs as to the value of travel insurance. A significant minority (18%) wrongly believe that having a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or purchasing a flight or hotel on a credit card are suitable alternatives to travel insurance. However, neither of these options provide full cover for cancellations, lost and stolen belongings, or medical costs.

Positively, three in five MPs (61%) say that the Government should do more to promote the advantages of taking out travel insurance.

Stephen D’Alfonso, ABTA Head of Public Affairs, said: “This year’s survey results show that an overseas summer holiday is as important to MPs as it is to the great British public. As Parliament heads into recess after months of campaigning around the General Election, followed by a busy start to the Parliamentary session, it is notable just how many MPs are eager to get a little rest and respite abroad.

“Those MPs heading abroad will know all too well about the negative impact of Air Passenger Duty – a levy charged on all passengers flying out of the UK – on their holiday budgets. MPs with children under the age of 12 will certainly benefit from recent changes by the Treasury to abolish APD on children’s flights, but we’re calling on the Government to go further to reduce APD for hard-pressed families wanting to enjoy their well-earned overseas break.”

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. 

*ComRes surveyed 150 MPs on the ComRes MPs Panel between 21st May and 3rd July 2015 by self-completion postal questionnaire and online. Data were weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons in terms of party representation and regional constituency distribution. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables can be found at: www.comres.co.uk

** 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.