New ABTA research suggests that the number of young travellers [aged 34 or under] taking more holidays both in the UK and abroad has increased in the last 12 months. Those aged 15-24 took on average almost five breaks in the UK or overseas in the past 12 months compared to an average of four holidays during the same period a year ago. 25-34 year olds took an average of 4.5 holidays in the UK and overseas compared to four a year ago. Across all age groups the average number of holidays taken abroad and at home was 3.5 breaks. In total those aged 15-34 take more holidays abroad than any other age group.

Younger travellers also like the personal touch; a quarter [26%] of those aged 15-24 and nearly a third [31%] of those aged 25-34 booked an overseas holiday with a High Street travel agent. 25-34 year olds are the most likely of all age groups to have used a High Street travel agent in the last 12 months. Those under 35 are also the least confident about booking a DIY holiday on their own [where separate elements are booked]. Only 17% of 15-24 year olds and 20% of 25-34 year olds said they’d done this compared to an average of 27% across all age groups.

The 15-34 age group also has the most positive and favourable attitudes towards travel professionals [both tour operators and travel agents] rating them consistently higher than older age groups. They were more likely than other age groups to say that they have a better holiday when they use a travel professional. They also particularly value the advice that travel professionals can give on destinations, holiday ideas and activities to do when they get there.

Travellers aged 15-34 are more likely than other age groups to take shorter trips abroad of one to three or four to six nights. The growth in popularity of music festivals may have helped fuel the trend with 14% of 15-24 year olds taking a trip to one in the past 12 months. They also enjoy overseas stag and hen dos, with 7% of 15-24 year olds going on one, compared to just 3% of the market.

ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The younger generation are clearly determined to make the most of their freedom and opportunities for travel whatever the economic climate. The research suggests they like to go away frequently and for shorter amounts of time than older age groups, which represents a great opportunity for travel companies to tap into this trend. They are also the most likely to look for, respect and value the services provided by travel professionals which is a great credit to the services that these professionals provide and demonstrates that even the Internet generation likes the personal touch.”

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