The latest Holiday Habits report from ABTA indicates strong demand and confidence in overseas holidays. In the year to August 2023, more than half (52%) of the UK population took an average of 1.4 overseas holidays each, mirroring levels seen before the pandemic. The report suggests this trend will continue into 2024 with roughly two-thirds (64%) planning an international trip in the coming 12 months.
Rising living costs mean many are focusing on budget when planning their travels – hence, package holidays and professional travel services have become more attractive.
Among those who holidayed abroad during the past year, 61% opted for package holidays, primarily due to cost considerations. The number of people booking packages for their better value increased to 42% from last year’s 34%.
ABTA’s data indicates that holidays will continue to be a preferred expense compared to other sectors. Many plan to reduce spending on non-essentials such as dining out (57%), leisure activities (46%), and clothing (42%), rather than reducing their travel budgets (34%).
Most people (51%) intend to maintain their holiday spending in the coming year, whereas 28% aim to spend more.
An increasing focus on value for money might be the reason behind the emerging trend for year-round travel. ABTA’s data suggests May and June as preferred months for holidays, with 21% planning to travel during this time. This is closely followed by October at 19%, and surprisingly, is slightly ahead of traditional peak holiday periods in July and August, both at 17%. This has led ABTA members to extend seasons in specific destinations like Turkey and Greece to meet demand during off-peak times.