British holiday-makers are planning to maintain or grow their travel plans over the next three years, according to a recent survey by AITO.
The AITO Travel Insights Report 2017 found that while 90% will maintain or grow their travel plans, 21% intend to take even more holidays.
This indicated that customers aren’t deterred from holidaying abroad by economic pressures resulting from a looming Brexit, the threat of terrorism or the recent collapse of Monarch.
Around 45 of the association’s operators and agents took part in the survey and 25,000 customers responded which was carried out in September and October 2017.
The survey results reveal that those aged from 55 to 64 are the group who plan to travel more, and they’re seeking a mix of experiences, with city visits coming top, followed by culture, arts and history, walking and then wildlife.
Beaches less interesting
Beaches are less interesting, coming eighth on this demographic’s list, and cruise holidays come 12th for them.
In terms of what is spent on a holiday, 29% of customers are spending between £2,000 and £4,999 per person (up 3% from last year).
Top destinations are France, Italy and Greece, while favourite long-haul trips are to Australia, India and the USA.
Some 90% say they will be holidaying the same amount or more in the next three years – almost exactly the same figure as last year, demonstrating that holidays aren’t viewed as a luxury activity, but are part of the yearly calendar.
On the issue of trust in holiday companies, 83% of people book with specialists because they value their knowledge and expertise and a further 47% choose a travel company based on personal service.
Is price a factor?
Price isn’t too much of a factor and comes fifth in terms of reasons to book with a holiday company.
What’s in store?
Looking ahead, the survey found that people are seeking holidays to regions including China, India, Australia, Russia and Iceland.
While 79% of responders said that email was the best way to contact them, 48% said that a brochure was the best way to keep them updated.
Social media isn’t persuading people to pack their bags, at only 9%. Just 1.3% welcome telephone calls from holiday companies.
However, 96% of people would be satisfied with a mix of email, direct mail and brochure.
Key findings from the survey results are:
After the Monarch collapse, being a fully bonded AITO member company was one of the most important factors in choosing which travel company to book with – a 30% increase.
90% say that their holiday habits over the next three years are either going to stay the same or grow, and 21% stated that they intended to take more holidays over the next three years. The growth is coming from the 55 to 64 age group, who seek a mix of experiences, with cities coming top followed by culture, arts and history, walking and wildlife.
The Net Promotor Scores (NPS) for the specialist holiday market is 64.9 across all the participating companies in the survey.
83% of people book based on knowledge and expertise, and 47% choose their travel company for personal service.
Destinations that people want to know more about included China, India, Australia, Russia and Iceland.
79% of responders prefer email contact, 48% like a brochure and just 9% like to be contacted via social media; a mere 1.3% like ‘phone contact. The majority – 96% of people – would be satisfied with a mix of email, direct mail and brochure.
Executive director of AITO, Kate Kenward, said: “This research gives us a significant insight into the current needs of the consumer, and we think it will help shape the business decisions that AITO members formulate over the next few years. We will continue to refine the research we undertake annually to help our members grow and thrive.”
Chairman of AITO, Derek Moore, said: “The results of the survey will undoubtedly prove invaluable to our members and will help them to retain and increase their market share in a time of increasing uncertainty.
“In the wake of the Monarch collapse, it’s no surprise that trust in a travel company is more vital than ever and, as AITO is the travel specialists’ association, we hope that the survey’s findings will help ensure that members will continue to be ahead of the trends, not only maintaining the highest standards for their customers but also continuing to innovate.”