This corroborates with the findings of our whitepaper, The 3 ‘C’s of Winning Travel Bookings: Convenience, Cost and Confidence. In the whitepaper which was published in late-2016, we revealed that UK holidaymakers are increasingly booking in advance with some finalizing and booking their travel up to six months in advance of their departure date.
We found the majority (42%), book their holidays between one and three months in advance of their departure with more than one in 10 (15%) travelers booking more than six months in advance.
Our research found that almost half of consumers (49%) who book one month or more in advance, do so in order to take advantage of early booking deals.
Furthermore, our report revealed that only 16% book less than a month in advance, which is perhaps further evidence that today’s traveler is becoming more and more organized with their travel planning.
Not only is the appetite for travel still high, travelers are looking to confirm and pay for their holidays well in advance of travel.
Travelers Looking to Agents
Further insights into the latest holiday trends among UK travelers were revealed the annual ABTA Travel Convention, which was held in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic last month.
According to ABTA’s 2017 Holiday Habits Report, which was presented at the convention, saving time and providing consumer confidence are the main reasons why travelers are choosing to book their holidays with a travel agent, rather than booking each element independently.
ABTA told delegates that almost half of respondents who took part its recent survey, said they used an agent to save time with the majority (63%) of hard-working 35-44 year olds and over half of 25-34 year olds giving this as their main reason.
According to the report, 60% said ‘ease of booking’ was the main reason for using a travel professional.
The survey also revealed that three-quarters of the over-65’s stated ‘ease of booking’ was the main driver for using an agent.
The report also tells us that for young families with children under the age of five, time is at a premium, with 60% of these families booking with a travel professional because it saves them time.
The Rise of the Cruise Holiday
The 2017 Holiday Habits Report also revealed the growing number of travelers from the UK booking and looking to book cruise holidays.
Whilst ABTA’s latest figures revealed that just 7% of respondents have taken a cruise holiday in the past 12 months, twice as many are considering a holiday at sea next year. Interestingly, almost half of those surveyed (42%) said that whilst they have never been on a cruise, they are considering booking this type of holiday in the future.
Amongst those holidaymakers who have been on a cruise holiday, more than three quarters (77%) said they would go again, with eight out of 10 stating the ‘chance to see multiple destinations’ as the main reason.
This research shows us that travel companies must create consumer confidence by both delivering savings and discounts for early bookers and provide attractive destination and travel options. Offering low deposit schemes that allow customers to secure their chosen holiday in advance at a low upfront cost, will of course help win early bookers which will in turn, deliver greater market share.