Bookings and confidence in overseas travel are strong, according to ABTA’s latest consumer research, despite the survey taking place just after devastating wildfires in Europe and during this summer’s air traffic control outage.
Overall, 84% of Brits went on holiday during the last year and the proportion of people taking an overseas holiday rose from 45% last year to 52% as the industry continues its recovery from the pandemic.
When asked about their plans for the next 12 months, 64% of people said they plan to take a trip overseas, which would bring numbers back to 2019 levels, a bumper year for travel.
ABTA’s Holiday Habits report, released during its Convention in Bodrum this week, is based on research with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people and was carried out in the last two weeks of August 2023.
It found Brits took an average of 1.4 overseas holidays per person, the same as last year but less than the pre-pandemic figure of 1.9.
The figure rose to 2.7 trips among those aged 18-24, who took an average of 2.2 trips last year.
The figure was also higher among families with younger children, who took an average of 2.3 trips.
For the first time, the report looked at the time of year that people travel abroad and found a similar number go in the spring (48%), summer (46%) and autumn (45%), compared to 28% in the winter.
May and June were found to be the most popular months to travel.
“The data shows that the demand for travel outside of peak periods is there and we know many members are working to meet that demand by extending the seasons in some destinations and adding capacity in the shoulder season,” said the report.
City breaks have overtaken beach holidays as the most popular type of holiday. The two have jostled for top position since the report began in 2010.
When asked how much they plan to spend on their holidays in the next 12 months, 28% of Brits they plan to spend more, 21% expect to spend less and 51% said about the same.
Those who said they would spend more said this was partly because of rising costs but also because they were going to take more trips.