Published on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ABTA: Holidays will be 'last thing to go'


Nearly four out of ten consumers say holidays are the last thing they will cut back on, according to research among over 2,000 consumers.


The 2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey, unveiled at The Travel Convention in Palma, found that consumers would rather make savings on eating out or home improvements than lose out on their holiday.


When asked ‘which of the following would you be most unwilling to cut back on?’, 37% said a holiday, 20% opted for eating out and 17% claimed leisure activities such as cinema and theatre would be the last to go.


One in five are so keen on their foreign breaks that they regard a longer trip overseas as a necessity they couldn’t do without, while one in four see a short break in the UK as equally essential.


Women appreciate the relaxation and opportunity to recharge their batteries on holiday more than men, with nearly one in four, 38%, unwilling to forego a trip as opposed to 35% of men. The love of holidays clearly grows with age, with 27% of 15-24 year olds unprepared to cut back, climbing to 43% of the over 65s.


“Consumers have been telling us for years just how important their holidays are,” said an ABTA spokeswoman.


“In tough economic times we all have to think of ways in which we can tighten our belts but it is very reassuring for the industry to hear that holidays are the least popular choice for the chop and for many, something they simply cannot live without.”


Meanwhile, the research also found that holidaymakers expect travel companies to take responsibility for protecting the environment.


Half of consumers, compared with 47% last year, believe that their holidays should help local people and the local economy. This belief was particularly notable among 55-64 year olds where 60% said they wanted their holidays to benefit communities, compared with 54% in 2010. 


One in five holidaymakers believe that sustainability credentials are essential or important when they book their holiday, and this is particularly the case among a younger age group: the figures escalates to one in four among 15-24 year olds and one in three of 25 to 34 year olds.

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