When quizzed consumers cite a range of sources from magazines to review websites and brochures and social media as useful for travel inspiration and information but travel company websites come low down the list with only 15 per cent of people using them.
In terms of research and booking trends consumers are embracing new technology with a rise in those booking via tablets, with 18 per cent of those booking on line now doing so via tablets (10 per cent in 2013).
The overall number of Britons taking holidays has dropped for the second year running but both package holidays and city breaks are increasing in popularity.
The research shows an overall decline of 3 per cent in the numbers taking a holiday in the year to July 2014 compounding a slight drop recorded the previous year. However, there are regional differences with the holiday market strong in London, Yorkshire and the North West.
City breaks have overtaken beach holidays as the most popular type of trip abroad with 42 per cent of the population having taken a city break in the past 12 months.
Trends identified last year that are strengthening include intergenerational holidays with grandparents, parents and children holidaying together. Also, bookings via travel agents showed a slight rise while bookings direct with hotels and airlines showed a marked drop to 34 per cent, down from 41 per cent.
The impact of an ageing population on the travel market must also be factored in future strategies with one in five over-65s saying they have holidayed alone in the past 12 months. This has implications for accommodation and service.
Those surveyed said package holidays appealed because of the good value for the price and the fact “everything was taken care of”. Counter-intuitively, both offline and online travel agents are popular with younger consumers aged 16-24-years old (36 per cent used an OTA to book an overseas holiday) and particularly popular with 35-44 year olds with families