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ABTA Travel Convention: Britons head abroad despite cost-of-living crisis

ABTA Travel Convention

Bookings have bounced back with the cruise industry also reporting a surge, delegates were told at the ABTA Travel Convention. Kaye Holland reports.

Almost two-thirds of Brits are planning to travel overseas in the next 12 months, according to the 2022 ABTA Holiday Habits Report – which was released at the opening of the annual ABTA Travel Convention in Marrakech.

The travel association’s Holiday Habits 2022 report revealed that 61 per cent of the 2,000 participants will travel abroad in 2023.

Only 14 per cent of those polled said that they won’t go away at all – proving that holidays remain a priority despite the cost-of-living squeeze.

That said, holiday-makers do expect to make some changes to their travel plans.

The top three ways people plan to reduce their holiday costs are by taking fewer holidays (36 per cent), opting for cheaper travel and transport options (28 per cent), and eating out less while away (23 per cent), while cutting back on non-essential spending elsewhere.

The report also revealed that, in the aftermath of the pandemic, holidaymakers are changing the way they plan and organise their travel, with many taking steps to bring extra reassurance to the process – such as taking out travel insurance and paying closer attention to terms and conditions.

Travel agents in demand, says ABTA

In addition, more people booked with a travel professional this year than in 2019 (36 per cent compared with 34 per cent) with a notable rise in demand from young people and young families.

Young families are also increasingly turning to cruise holidays. The survey, which was conducted between August 16-30 2022 found that 49 per cent of young families had been on a cruise (up from 29 per cent in 2018).

Many of these families were introduced to cruise by last summer’s ‘seacations’ which clearly left a lasting impression: almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of young families said they are keen to cruise again.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “We 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.

“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.”

This year’s convention is the first to be hosted overseas since 2019 and the first in Morocco since 2005.

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