ABTA continues to be the most recognised travel industry trade body among UK consumers with a 78% public recognition factor, according to new research conducted by Arkenford for ABTA. After ABTA, ATOL is the most recognised travel trade industry brand (47%) followed by IATA (30%) and AITO (15%).

Public awareness of ABTA has held steady over the past 12 months, even though it has been a year of relatively few high profile travel crises and company failures.  This trend may have resulted in a decline in awareness levels of other logos strongly associated with financial protection, for example ATOL which has seen a 6% fall in public recognition year on year (from 53% to 47%).

The findings also show that the ABTA brand has continued to improve its strong positive associations among consumers in the last year, following improvements in 2011.

Younger travellers in particular are more aware of and have more positive associations with ABTA from a year ago. Nearly one in four (38%) of those aged 15-24 are aware of the association, which represents a slight increase from 2011 when awareness was 36% and a 7% increase from 2010.  Awareness of ATOL among this age group stands at 30% (38% in 2011).

Consumers also continue to have a clear understanding of ABTA’s role with 84% seeing the association as representing its members, and 58% of people being aware of ABTA’s role in setting industry standards. Six in ten (60%) see ABTA as representing consumer interests, an increase of 5% from 2011 and seven out of ten people regard ABTA membership as essential or important when booking their travel arrangements.

The association's chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: "In a year when travel crises and financial protection issues have been less prominent in the news it is great to see that ABTA recognition remains steady, showing that consumers appreciate the broader role that ABTA plays. In the last 12 months we have launched a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening our profile among younger travellers in particular, and it is very encouraging to see these have had a positive impact.”

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