In the first evidence of a structural recovery in the strength of leisure travel by UK residents, the latest report from ABTA shows that, among Brits, the average number of holidays taken per person per year has grown from 3.4 to 3.8. This is the highest number of holidays taken per person in the last five years and almost equal to the 3.9 figure in 2011.
Moreover, according to the report—Holiday Habits Report 2017—which was released last week at ABTA’s annual convention in the Azores, the average number of overseas holidays has bounced back to the 2015 figure of 1.7 per year, having dropped to 1.4 in 2016.
The 2017 report contained more of what ABTA described as “remarkably positive” results. Among them are the following:
—In the 12 months to August 2017, 87 percent of Brits took a holiday either at home or abroad. This is the highest figure seen since 2011 and is a big jump from 77 percent in 2015.
—More than a quarter (26 percent) of holidaymakers are booking earlier—up from 21 percent in 2016.
—Spend on longer breaks overseas has increased to £597 ($793) from £430 ($571), but spend on shorter breaks overseas has decreased to £285 ($378) per person from £301 ($400).
—Almost a third of people (31 percent) are planning to spend more, a notable increase on last year’s figures of 24 percent. The number one reason cited was to ensure they get their first choice of destination.
—The well-off and families with young children are the most likely to use travel agents, with 50 percent of those in social grade A and 47 percent of those with children under five having used their services in the past year.
—Almost half (48 percent) of those who used a travel professional said they did so to save time.
This is especially true of 35-44 year olds (63 percent) and 25-34 year olds (56 percent) and wealthier customers (64 percent).
—Sixty percent of people said they use a travel agent for ease of booking, with the figure jumping to 75 percent among over-65s.
—More than 62 percent of 18-24 year olds and 64 percent of those classed as social grade A stated that they felt more confident when booking with a travel professional.