ABTA to advertise benefits of agents

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is preparing to launch an advertising campaign in an attempt to reverse a growing tendency among consumers to create their holiday packages without the help of a professional intermediary.

ABTA’s advertising agency SWK is creating a £200,000 national and regional print campaign to launch in December to coincide with holidaymakers’ plans for next year’s summer holidays.

ABTA director of corporate affairs Keith Betton says: “The message will drive home the fact that if you choose to travel independently and cut out the middle man, you cut out the expert.”

The trade body is concerned that members are losing out to the burgeoning no-frills airline sector, where customers book a cheap flight and then find their own accommodation.

Betton says the advertising will stress that this method does not provide the protection of a fully bonded travel agent if things go wrong, such as overbooking of hotels or late flights. The advertising strapline will read: “Without us you are on your own”.

He adds that many travel agents recognise they can enter the independent travel market by buying airline deals and putting them together with accommodation for customers. Another benefit on which to sell products is that it saves the customer time. Betton says: “When you buy on the Internet it takes time, and for most people time is money.”

This will be ABTA’s first advertising campaign since the US terrorist attacks of September 11 last year.

SWK has just been bought by the Chemistry Communications Group (MW August 11).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here