Holiday Demand as Strong as Ever, Says ABTA Report

The demand for holidays is set to remain strong in 2018 according to a new report from ABTA – The Travel Association. Factors such as squeezed budgets, responsible travel and the desire to try new destinations are expected to impact travel trends over the next 12 months.

ABTA Travel Trends 2018, which is published today and based on market information and consumer insights, features the trends set to influence holidaymakers’ habits in the year ahead and reveals the 12 ‘Destinations to watch’ for 2018.

The report highlights that despite wider economic issues, holidays are still a spending priority for UK consumers. New industry figures1 reveal that bookings for next summer are tracking five per cent above last year, reflecting a growing trend for early booking as people look to take advantage of discounts and ensure they get their choice of destination or resort at the right price.

Research also shows that three in ten people (31 per cent) plan to spend an increased amount on travel next year, up six per cent from last year2. Other industry reports confirm that people are prioritising travel, while cutting back on eating out and entertainment.

The stretched household budget is expected to see the package holiday secure its place as the most popular option for foreign breaks, as people seek to protect their holiday budget from a volatile pound. All-inclusive packages, ranging from active river cruises to beach resorts in the Eastern Mediterranean, are expected to do particularly well.

The report also highlights that there will be an increase in low-cost long-haul flights on offer in 2018, allowing people to go further afield in fuel efficient aircraft without the extra cost and make the most of more competitive currencies.

Money matters aside, responsible tourism – making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit – is set to be firmly on people’s radar when making choices around travel and destinations. Seven in ten people believe that travel companies should ensure their holidays help the local people and economy.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive commented: “Although household budgets are under pressure, the underlying demand for travel remains strong as savvy British holidaymakers are planning ahead and eeking the best value holidays and destinations.“While value for money will certainly influence many people’s holiday choices, others will also reflect on the impact their holiday has on local people and the community.

“Popular TV programmes like Blue Planet II have put sustainability issues firmly in the spotlight, increasing awareness of the impact that large numbers of visitors can have on some of the world’s most popular destinations. We expect these factors to inform people’s choices about where and how they holiday next year, with a greater demand for holidays to a wide range of alternative destinations.”