Abta predicts shift towards all-year travel in 2024 as consumers search for value

A growing number of consumers will take their holidays outside the traditional summer season in 2024 as they search for the best possible value, according to Abta research about travel trends.

The 2023 Abta Holiday Habits Report was revealed at the Travel Convention in Bodrum on Tuesday (October 31), ahead of the opening of the annual event.

The research, carried out among 2,000 people in the last two weeks of August, found almost three quarters (72%) of respondents said the rising cost of living will affect their travel plans in 2024, with customers adopting a range of cost-cutting tactics to limit their spend.

More:Abta hails positivity about overseas trips as research released

Almost a quarter (22%) of customers will take fewer holidays, 21% will book cheaper accommodation and 17% will eat out less on holiday to ensure they can afford to go away, Abta reports.

To avoid paying the highest prices in summer, Abta’s data shows a growing number of people will look to take their holidays in spring and autumn, representing a growing trend towards all-year travel.

May and June will be the most popular months for overseas breaks in the year ahead, the association forecasts, with 21% of people planning to travel in those months, ahead of October (19%) and slightly ahead of the traditional peak months of July (17%) and August (17%).

The research also found a growing number of consumers are booking a package holiday through a travel agent as they believe this will offer the best value.

Over half (61%) of people who took a foreign trip in the last year went on a package holiday, citing price as the main driver – those saying they booked a package because it was the best value option for the price rose to 42% compared with 34% last year, while a third (33%) said they booked a package because they wanted an all-inclusive holiday, up from 28% who said the same last year.

Of the 35% of people who booked a holiday abroad with a travel professional in the last 12 months, those citing value for money as their reason for doing so was up considerably, to 38% from 26% last year.

Abta’s data also shows people will cut back on other non-essentials, such as eating out (57%), leisure activities (46%) and clothes, shoes and accessories (42%) before cutting back on their holidays (34%).

The majority of people (51%) are planning to spend the same amount of money on holidays this coming year as during the last 12 months, with 28% planning to spend more.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, hailed the “resilience” shown by the sector in the face of mounting challenges.

He said: “Over the past 12 months, household budgets have continued to be stretched by the rising cost of living while travel has been hit by a variety of challenges – including wildfires and an unprecedented air traffic control outage.

“Despite this, people’s commitment to their holidays, and their confidence in travel, remain strong. This is due in no small part to the hard work and tenacity of our members, who have worked tirelessly to find the best value break for their customers’ budgets and supported them when things haven’t quite gone to plan.”

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