Package holidays bookings boom – why holiday type is the safest during Covid

Holidays: Matt Hancock shares concerns over international travel

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Package holidays are much much popular now than they were before coronavirus struck, figures have shown. ABTA’s data found people are 31 percent more likely to book a package holiday these days than before the pandemic. The main reason for booking a package getaway was shown to be being looked after in case something goes wrong (51 percent) followed by financial protection (49 percent).

So why do package holidays offer such a cushion and what’s the latest travel advice on the matter?

Package holidays provide the right to a replacement holiday or a refund if the holiday is significantly altered by a change in the situation at their destination.

By booking a package holiday, travellers also get great value for money and have a single point of contact for their travel arrangements, so if they require any advice and assistance before they go on holiday or while they are there, the travel company is there to help.

Holidaymakers are also placing a great deal of value on the services provided by a travel professional such as a travel agent.

ABTA’s figures show that people are also 28 percent more likely to use a travel professional now than before the pandemic.

The main reasons show the importance of feeling protected and reassured.

Half cited the security of a package holiday as why they would book with a travel professional.

This was followed by trusting travel companies to look after them (48 percent), and the travel professional’s up-to-date advice (42 percent).

ABTA Members are reporting enquiries coming from new customers who haven’t booked with them before.

As part of their service, travel professionals take customers through everything they need to know about their holiday, give them the latest advice for their destination, and keep them up to date on any changes that will affect their plans.

The knowledge and expertise of travel professionals will be invaluable in helping customers understand how, in light of the pandemic, international travel will be different compared to when they last holidayed abroad.

Research also showed holidaymakers remain committed to getting away overseas despite upheaval caused by the pandemic.

Sixty-three percent of people said they hope to book a holiday abroad in the next six months or longer.

Graeme Buck, Director of Communications at ABTA – The Travel Association, commented on the findings: “Travel professionals and package holidays have an important role to play in helping people feel reassured and confident to book and travel this year, and we’re seeing more and more people turning to them as they plan their holidays.

“Over the last 12 months there has been a lot of uncertainty around international travel, with holidays having to be changed or postponed, but there is a lot of pent-up demand for holidays.

“People are increasingly recognising that they can get great value for money, added protection and the benefit of having someone else plan their holiday or make changes if needed further down the line.”

He continued: “On top of the usual protections of a package holiday, many ABTA Members are also offering additional flexible cancellation and rebooking policies to help holidaymakers have the confidence to book and enjoy having something to look forward to after a difficult 12 months.

“We’d encourage anyone who is planning their next overseas holiday to speak to an ABTA Member about their holiday plans – they’ll be able to provide them with unrivalled advice and expertise.”

Many people often misunderstand what a package holiday actually is. A ‘package holiday’ refers to how the trip is booked, not where you go or what you do.

Any type of holiday – from a city break to backpacking around the world – could be a package holiday, and packages can be personalised to suit each customer’s preference.

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