“Whilst there are encouraging signs in the market pointing to a positive outlook for the travel industry in 2017,” the ABTA Trends Report 2017 tells us, “many uncertainties remain, including around the government’s Brexit negotiations,” adding, “Destination and capacity challenges are expected to continue.”
Released just prior to the end-of-year holiday period, the report’s section on overseas travel touches upon some expectation for the coming year:
- Almost a quarter of the population (24 percent) plans to spend more on holidays next year, with just 16 percent indicating that they will spent less. A year ago, 23 percent planned to spend more and 15 percent planned to spend less.
- Current industry figures show bookings for summer 207 tracking 11 percent above last year. (This could reflect a growing trend for early booking and may also be a consumer reaction to the capacity issues of 2016, with people determined to secure their preferred resort or destination.)
- A shift in capacity to the western Mediterranean and towards long haul destinations means that new destinations are emerging for 2017.
- More than a quarter (26 percent) of all holidaymakers say they are very likely to visit a country they’ve never been to before, compared to 19 percent who said this last year.
- Just less than a third (29 percent) of UK travelers say they will go on a holiday to a new resort or city (even if they’re visited the country before). This is up from 23 percent last year.
- Spain is expected to be the year’s top performing destination, with Portugal and Cyprus seeing strong early bookings for 2017.
- City breaks and beach holidays remain the top holiday choices for 2017m as more than half (52 percent) of all travelers planning to take a city break, and 44 percent planning a beach holiday.
- All-inclusive holidays are expected to perform particularly well, which may signal that more people want to manager their budgets and hedge against volatile British pound.
- All-inclusives are particularly appealing to young families, 35 percent of whom hope to take an all-inclusive holiday in 2017.
- Among its “12 Destinations to Watch” in 2017, ABTA points to the U.S. South. Below is a portion of the page the ABTA report dedicates to the U.S. South.