ABTA Reveals Consumers’ Top 10 Booking Essentials

2012-10-10 — /travelprnews.com/ — Financial protection, ABTA and ATOL membership continue to take three of the top five positions in consumers’ lists of holiday booking essentials as they did in 2011, illustrating that customers look for reassurance and protection as a priority when booking a holiday.

Also in the top five booking essentials are safe accommodation, ranked number one, with 83% citing this as essential or important, and value for money, ranked number five, with 70% seeing this as essential or important. Well trained and experienced staff is also seen as essential or important with 68% looking out for them.

When compared to last year “lowest prices” have seen the single biggest percentage rise for holidaymakers, with 59% saying that it is one of their booking essentials compared to just over half (53%) last year. It has now overtaken a well- known name in travel as a priority for customers. While financial protection is still rated number two in the list of essentials its importance has decreased slightly from last year when 79% regarded it as essential or important.

These changes perhaps reflect the lack of high profile travel company failures in the last 12 months which may motivate customers to seek financially protected holidays, while demonstrating that consumers are even more cost-conscious than they were a year ago.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “Holidays are one of the biggest annual investments for many people, both financially and in terms of time. So it’s perhaps not surprising that factors such as safety, financial protection and value rate more highly when booking than simply finding the lowest prices. Holidaymakers want assurance that their family is going to have a safe and secure holiday and that means they’re not just looking for the cheapest deals.”

Consumers rated the following top ten as essential or important when booking a holiday:

1. Safe and secure accommodation (83%)
2. Financial protection (77%)
3. ATOL protection (71%)
4. Value for money (but not necessarily the lowest price) (70%)
5. ABTA Membership (69%)
6. Knowledgeable staff (68%)
7. Ease of transport connections to the airport (59%)
8. Lowest prices (59%)
9. The range of holidays on offer (59%)
10. A well-known name in the industry (51%)

For further information

Sean Tipton, Media Relations Manager, tel: 020 3117 0513
Gillian Edwards, Senior Public Relations Manager, 020 3117 0514
Victoria Bacon Head of Communications, tel: 020 3117 0515
Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via pager: 07659 190 987
E-mail: press@abta.co.uk
Web: www.abta.com
Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.

About ABTA

ABTA has been at the heart of travel for more than 60 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers – the travelling public – have confidence in their travel experience.

The ABTA brand stands for expertise, reliability and fairness. These qualities are core to us. They ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today’s changing travel landscape by providing schemes of financial protection and a course of redress if something goes wrong; by raising standards in the industry and by giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety; and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,300 Members and represents over 5,000 retail outlets and offices. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we’re working at the heart of the industry to ensure that we continue to build confidence in travel visit www.abta.com.