As part of the release of ABTA’s Holiday Habits Report 2017, new research has found that four in ten consumers have used the services of a travel professional to book a holiday over the past 12 months in order to make booking easier, provide greater confidence and save time.

It appears that modern 21st century living comes in hand with increasing pressure on people’s time, and almost half (48%) of respondents who used a travel professional stated that they did so to save time. This is especially true of 35-44 year olds (63%) and 25-34 year olds (56%), suggesting these age groups are the most time-pressured. Wealthier customers are also more likely to give this as a reason for using travel professionals, with 64% of those classed as social grade A citing this.

Moreover, 62% of 18-24 year olds and 64% of those classed as social grade A stated that they felt more confident when booking with a travel professional. Six in ten people also gave ease of booking as a reason as to why they use a travel professional and this increases with age, culminating with 75% of the over-65s.

Families are amongst the biggest fans of travel professionals, with almost half of those with children under the age of five (47%) and those with older children over five (44%) using their services in the past 12 months. Thanks in part to the convenience of overseas package holidays, this has seen 52% of respondents taking one in the past 12 months and it remains the single most popular booking option for foreign holidays.

The top reason for booking a package is “having everything taken care of”, with three-quarters of all respondents stating this. Among families, this is even more important, with eight out of ten families with children giving this as a reason.

Mark Tanzer, the association’s chief executive, said: “Holidays are a chance to relax and escape the day to day pressures and worries of life. Our research shows that even during booking, people want a stress-free experience and they particularly value the assistance of travel professionals in helping them to do so. Families and the well-off particularly value travel professionals’ experience and expertise. People also continue to appreciate the convenience of packages, with package holidays remaining the single most popular overseas holiday option, particularly for families.”

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