Travel Agent popularity rises post-pandemic

Ease of booking, expertise and having someone to help if things go wrong cited as key reasons more travellers are booking with Agents

Travel Agent popularity rises post-pandemic

Ease of booking, expertise and having someone to help if things go wrong cited as key reasons more travellers are booking with Agents

More people are booking with a travel agent than in 2019, with a particular rise among younger travellers, according to a Holiday Habits 2022 Report published at this week’s ABTA’s Tavel Convention in Marrakech.

The report, based on the booking habits of 2,000 people in the 12 months to August 2022, found 36% of Brits booked with a travel professional compared with 34% pre-pandemic.

More than half of those with young families (54%) booked through an agent compared to only 36% in 2019, while among 25–34-year-olds the figure was 55% compared to 38% pre-Covid.

The main reasons cited for using an agent were ease of booking, expertise and having someone to help if things go wrong.

Packages were the most popular way to travel on an overseas holiday, with 63% of holidaymakers taking this type of trip. 

There was no change in the most popular destinations, with Spain (31%), France (20%) the U.S. (12%), Italy (12%) in the top four.

Looking ahead, 61% of people say they are planning to head abroad in the next 12 months. 

Despite the increasing pressures on household finances, holidays remain a spending priority, with people more likely to cut back on non-essential spending elsewhere, such as eating out (55%), leisure activities (48%) and clothes, shoes and accessories (40%), before they’ll cut back on their holidays (35%).

“We now face an uncertain year ahead given the cost of living challenges, but ABTA’s research suggests that we should continue to see an increase in foreign holidays next year and, encouragingly, many of our members have also been reporting a high level of demand for bookings,” said Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive.

“As our Holiday Habits 2022 report shows, people have found comfort in the security of booking a package holiday and accessing the expertise of travel professionals. It remains to be seen whether this will continue as a firm trend in 2023 but, if it does, it may prove a rare positive legacy of the pandemic for ABTA members.”

abta.com

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