Visit Atlantic City

Published on Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More than half booking online - survey

More than half of travellers book through agents or operators online, new figures show.

A total of 57% of people booked their last foreign holiday online, with 19% doing so by telephone.

The number booking in person with an agent was a little over a quarter (27%).

Meanwhile, only 35% of people booked their last overseas break through a travel agent, with 21% going direct to an airline, 19% via a website, 16% with an operator, 12% direct with a hotel and two per cent direct with a cruise company.

But surprise findings from an Ipsos MORI poll for ABTA showed that 16 to 24-year-olds are more likely to book through a travel agent in person than any other age group.

Forty-five per cent said that they had booked their last holiday in person, while half said that they would use an agent, either online, by phone or in person.

The 25 to 44 year old age group were the most web-savvy with 68% saying they booked their last holiday online.

ABTA revealed that there are now nearly 7,000 association-registered websites.

The survey of 702 people found that holidaymakers in the Greater London region were the most likely to book a holiday online (68%) compared to the West Midlands, where holidaymakers were least likely to book online (45%).

Resort or hotel facilities emerrged as the most important reason for choosing a destination (72%), followed by cost (69%), resort/hotel star rating (63%), good ratings/feedback on travel websites (51%), environmentally and socially responsible (50%), well known hotel/resort (41%), hotle with an established operator (41%) and guide book recommendation (40).

Only 30% felt recommendations by a travel agent was important.

by Phil Davies 

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