Research from ABTA says that people are now 20 per cent more likely to use a travel agent to book their next holiday.
The figure is included in the association’s Six Trends for Travel in 2021 report, which lists the security of a package holiday (41 per cent) and travel agents’ advice (40 per cent) as the main reasons for the increase.
As for the cruise sector, the report states that the popularity of ocean and river cruises “is in line with 2019 levels”, with 58 per cent of people saying they would be interested in an ocean cruise and 31 per cent saying they would like to go on a river cruise.
Current travel restrictions “do not appear to have dented the enthusiasm for cruise among those who know and love this style of travel”, the report added, with 21 per cent of those who have taken a cruise before responding they would do so again, rising to 31 per cent for those over 65 years of age.
In addition, ABTA members are reporting that clients are booking ahead for cruise holidays, with it proving a particularly popular choice for 2022.
ABTA’s data also shows a rise in the number of people looking to book a holiday over the coming year, with 62 per cent of people saying they hope to book a holiday abroad in the next six months, compared to 52 per cent who said the same in August 2020.
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said that “severe restrictions that have been placed on international travel this year have clearly led to pent-up demand”.
He added: “I’m delighted to see that an increasing number of holidaymakers plan to turn to travel professionals to help them book their much-deserved trips, which is testament to the immense efforts of our members to help their customers through this crisis, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
“There is no question that things are still really difficult for the travel industry. We are continuing to lobby hard on the need for the government to support the industry and the steps that need to be taken to open up travel.
“Members are reporting increases in enquiries and bookings for holidays next year, particularly following the positive developments around a vaccine, although these levels of bookings are far below where they would be normally.
“Through our report, Six Trends for Travel in 2021, we want to inspire holidaymakers to think about their travel plans for the next year and encourage them to book with confidence with an ABTA member.”
Download the full report here: ABTA’s Six Trends for Travel in 2021