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ABTA consumer survey reveals cruise booking trends

The Holiday Habits Report ABTA Consumer Survey 2015 shows that cruises were in the top ten types of holiday taken in the past 12 months, with 10% choosing a cruise holiday.

Trends among families with school-age children indicate that 17% are most likely to take a cruise next year.

The findings were released today at The Travel Convention 2015 taking place at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino,  in the southwest region of the Peloponnese, Greece.

Meanwhile, according to new ABTA research almost a quarter (23%) of the population is expecting to spend more on their holidays in 2016, up slightly from 20% who said the same this time last year. Industry figures also point to many consumers feeling positive about holidays next year, early indications show the number of overseas holidays booked to date up 12% year-on-year and bookings for 2015 winter holidays up 5%.

ABTA Members have reported good numbers for Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta both for the summer of 2015 and for forward bookings for next year. Spain and its islands have performed particularly well in summer 2015, boosted by extra capacity being put on by tour operators. Further afield, ABTA Members have reported that bookings to Cuba, Cape Verde, Kenya and Thailand have been very healthy for 2015 and are looking positive for 2016. Demand for Jamaica, Barbados and the UAE is also strong for this winter and next year.

Despite high profile coverage of its economic problems during the peak holiday season and the migration crisis, bookings to Greece remain healthy and the numbers for summer 2015 are up from last year according to statistics.

Turkey and Egypt were the main destinations that saw a drop in business in 2015. This may partly have been due to the public reaction to the terrorist attack in Tunisia at the end of June. In addition, bookings in non-Eurozone Mediterranean countries often suffer when the pound is strong against the Euro, with many customers choosing to holiday in the Eurozone instead.

The incidents and uncertainties of the summer do not appear to have deterred resilient Brits from exploring new destinations. In recent years, people have put their faith in tried and tested destinations but next year may see holidaymakers in a more exploratory mood.

According to ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2015, almost one in five people (18%) say they will travel to a country they have never been to before, compared to 9% who said this last year. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (23%) say they will try a new resort or city (even if they have visited the country before) compared to 10% who said this last year.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive commented: “Due to the global nature of the travel industry it is particularly exposed to world events, either natural or man-made. This summer saw some very difficult conditions with the appalling terrorist attack in Tunisia and the economic and political issues around the Mediterranean. It is a reflection of the resilient nature of the British holidaymaker that these events don’t appear to have discouraged people from taking overseas holidays with consumer confidence continuing to return to the market as we look ahead to 2016.”

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