Over half of consumers, 53%, who have taken a foreign holiday in the last 12 months booked through a travel agent or tour operator, as revealed at the 2011 ABTA Consumer Trends survey at The Travel Convention in Palma Mallorca. High street travel agents rule for the young with a third of 16-24 year olds, 32%, using them with 45-54 year olds ,15%, being the least likely to do so.
The survey also shows that women are significantly more likely to book with a high street travel agent than men with nearly a third, 31%, booking through this route in the last 12 months compared to 19% of men. Similarly, 32% of 16-24 year olds booked through this route, more than any other age group.
53% booked through either a high street travel agent, 25%, or a tour operator, 28%. There is a gender difference with over half of women, 57%, preferring this route compared with men, 49%, who are less keen. Women are particularly keen on high street travel agents with 31% using them as opposed to 19% of men.
One in four had also booked through a holiday booking website. 43% had booked direct with airlines and accommodation providers with 25-34 year olds being the least likely to do so at 28% and the over 65s the keenest at 50%. Foreign package holidays remain a popular option at 42%, most popular with women and 15-24 year olds, level pegging with travel and accommodation booked separately also at 42%.
Over one in five customers, 23%, had also booked a domestic holiday using a travel agent or tour operator
Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: "There is a wealth of booking options available to holidaymakers and I am pleased to see that over half are looking for the reassurance and professionalism offered by travel agents and tour operators when going overseas. It is also encouraging that so many of the internet generation choose to book through high street travel agents and that so many people use their services when holidaying in the UK. Many ABTA Members also provide bespoke booking options on the internet which is an important booking option with one in four customers doing so. "