ABTA 2012: Holidaymakers take fewer slightly fewer trips this year than last – but more packages
ABTA’s latest Consumer Trends Survey of 2,000 holidaymakers found UK consumers are taking fewer holidays but they are increasingly likely to travel on a package booked via a high street travel agency. ABTA said the holidaymakers (not the whole UK population) took an average of 3.51 holidays this year. Compared to 3.82 last year and 3.2 in 2010. These Britons have taken an average of 1.4 overseas holidays and 2.11 domestic holidays in 2012, down from 1.56 and 2.26, respectively, last year. Of the holidays taken in 2012, 48% were packages compared with 42% in 2011 and 37% in 2010. According to the survey, 27% of holidays were booked on the high street compared with 25% in 2011. Conversely, the number of DIY bookings shrank from 43% in 2011 to 39% this year. ABTA said the trend towards package holidays was particularly strong amongst those aged 35 to 44 years, of whom 51% said they had booked a package in 2012 compared with just 36% in 2011. Those aged from 15-34 took more overseas trips than any other age group.
ABTA 2012: Holidaymakers take fewer trips but more packages
UK consumers are taking fewer holidays but they are increasingly likely to travel on a package booked via a high street travel agency, according to ABTA’s latest Consumer Trends Survey unveiled at the Travel Convention in Istanbul.
It showed that people took an average of 3.51 holidays this year, [the year is not over yet though] 48% of which were packages compared with 42% in 2011. According to the survey, 27% of holidays were booked on the high street compared with 25% in 2011. Conversely, the number of DIY bookings shrank from 43% in 2011 to 39% this year.
“The internet is getting confusing and people can’t work out when they book online if their holiday is financially protected or not,” said travel agent Daniel Broccoli of Peterborough-based Britaly Travel. “This is definitely one of the reasons people are coming back to book in high street agents, which is something we have seen over the past 12 months, thank God!”
ABTA’s survey, conducted by Arkenford Ltd, revealed that one in five independent travellers spent at least seven hours researching destinations and the same amount of time to check prices of flights, plus a further seven hours checking the cost of accommodation.
It claimed it could take the equivalent of three working days to research and book one holiday, yet the research revealed only half of those questioned believed booking with a travel agent would save them time.
The survey also found women and younger travellers aged 15 to 34 were the most likely to value the services of a travel agent, which is good news for the trade as this age group took one holiday a year more than the national average, despite being the most concerned about job security and money.
The third annual survey, which covered a 12-month period up to 2012, found that the trend towards package holidays was particularly strong amongst the “squeezed middle” as 51% of 35 to 44 years olds said they had booked a package in 2012 compared with just 36% in 2011.
The drift back to the high street seemed to be driven more by cost and ease of booking than a desire for financial protection as slightly fewer customers rated this as their primary concern this year, whereas 60% said they had changed when they booked in order to get the best price.
34% of consumers booked their holiday further in advance this year and a quarter booked closer to departure.
Last year, the average number of holidays taken was slightly higher at 3.82, although in 2010 it was just 3.2. Younger travellers bucked the trend with those aged 15 to 24 taking more breaks this year than in 2011, although trips were generally shorter. 14% said they had travelled to a music festival.
Domestic packages jumped in popularity, with nearly a quarter of holidaymakers choosing to book a package compared with just12% in 2011. DIY holidays fell slightly from 36% of the market to 34%.
Telegraph also says:
ABTA’s survey of slightly more than 2,000 holidaymakers also revealed that Britons have taken an average of 1.4 overseas holidays and 2.11 domestic holidays in 2012, (total 3.51) down from 1.56 and 2.26 (total 3.82), respectively, last year.
Six in ten people said they had changed when they booked their holiday, with 34% booking further in advance, and 26% waiting until closer to departure.
Younger travellers are also taking more holidays than in previous years, the survey claimed. Those aged from 15-34 took more overseas trips than any other age group.
Supposing every trip was taken by plane, which it is not (some rail and ferry+car) this would be 62.6 million (the UK population) x 3.51 = 219.8 million trips.
ABTA says 60% of the trips were domestic. So that means 60% of 219.8 million is 132 million trips in the UK. And 40% are abroad – which is 88 million trips.
So even if everyone in the UK went on as many trips as the people in the ABTA survey each year, by plane, this would only be 88 million air trips. Call that 180 million airport passengers (in and out trip).
Total UK air passengers in 2011 were around 220 million. If around 20% of all flights are for business, (20% of 220 million is 44 million) that means UK airports are currently handling the equivalent of about 1.5 foreign trips per person per year, for leisure.
If it is true that on any year, about half the UK population do not fly (not sure where that figure came from) that means the current number of passengers at UK airports is the equivalent of (not exactly, as transit etc) 3 foreign trips by air per UK citizen, of any age. 0 – 100 years plus.
How many more foreign trips by air can they need? or afford?