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The ABTA Consumer Trends Report

Travellers will not sacrifice their holidays and list 'financial protection' as paramount

Brits are determined to keep travelling

It is understandable that many people are trying to save money during these tough economic times, but it seems as though the majority of you would rather ditch the new phones, laptops and cinema trips than skip going on holiday.

These findings come as a result of the 2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey, which generated responses from over 2000 respondents, asking consumers what they would be most unwilling to cut back on.

The survey revealed that consumers struggling financially during the recession are prepared to give up new smartphones, laptops, meals out and home improvements, but 37% would not lose out on their annual family holiday. One in five people consider holidays a necessity they couldn’t do without; whether it’s a holiday abroad for a longer time or a short break in the UK. Females were more unwilling than males to forego a trip abroad as they appreciated the chance to relax on holiday and viewed it as an opportunity to recharge their batteries. alt text Victoria Bacon ABTA Head of Communications said: “Consumers have been telling us for years just how important their holidays are. In tough economic times we all have to think of ways in which we can tighten our belts but it is very reassuring for the industry to hear that holidays are the least popular choice for the chop and for many, something they simply cannot live without.”

Of course, it is important to look at ways to save during this economic climate, but it is very reassuring to know that holidays are one of life’s luxuries that many do not want to sacrifice.

The survey also positioned Spain as the number one destination for almost one in five holidaying families in the 35-44 year-old age bracket - one of the main reasons being the amazing welcome and facilities that Spain and its people offer to families. Surprisingly the UK came second ahead of the USA, France, Greece and Italy.

Prioritising protection over price

Meanwhile, another ABTA report was released at the convention in Palma de Mallorca listing the elements that consumers see as essential or important when booking a holiday.

When asked to name their top ten essentials when it came to booking a holiday, holidaymakers said they predominantly looked for financial protection, ATOL and ABTA membership, and a well-known name in the holiday industry. Secure accommodation was also listed as of high significance as was low prices. However, only five in ten were influenced by the lowest prices, revealing that price is obviously not the most crucial factor when booking a holiday.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: "Even in a year when customers are tightening their belts, the lowest cost is not their number one consideration. The message from our customers is loud and clear: financial protection is a top consideration when booking their holidays."

Having caused huge problems for travellers and the travel sector, the ash cloud crisis and heavy snow that spread across parts of the UK last December, have made people realise the importance of guarding against financial loss, so financial protection takes priority.

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