Cheap prices trump trusted holiday brands

Abta Travel Conference: Financial anxiety is driving new trends in the travel industry with holidaymakers changing their booking patterns and valuing price over the reassurance of trusted brand names.

Holidaymakers are favouring price over trusted brands like Thomson.

The latest travel trends, unveiled at the Abta Travel Convention in Turkey, show an increase in the percentage of package holidays taken as a proportion of all holidays, with a 6 per cent jump to 48 per cent, year on year.

“DIY bookings”, where people book flight and accommodation separately, dropped slightly by 4 per cent in the 12 months to September 2012.

New patterns show people booking earlier for a good price rather than hanging on for late deals and a slightly greater use of the high street travel agent, up 2 per cent from 25 per cent in 2011.

“Lowest prices” have become a bigger driver of bookings for holidaymakers, up 6 per cent to 59 per cent. This overtakes booking with a well-known brand as a priority for customers, and while financial protection is still rated number two on the list its importance has dropped slightly.

Abta says that these changes reflect anxiety over job security and “the lack of high profile travel company failures in the last 12 months” that motivate people to seek financially protected holidays.

Overall, the actual number of holidays taken is rising, driven by the under-34-year-old segment taking more shorter trips than a single long break.

The consumer research was carried out by independent company Arkenford and questioned more than 2,000 people on their travel habits.

Click here for more news from the Abta Travel Convention 2012.