Holidaymakers seek value and positive impact on environment and communities

Value for money and increased awareness of responsible tourism are set to shape 2018 holiday choices, according to a latest Abta trends report.

The report reveals major trends and twelve ‘destinations to watch’ this year with the trade association predicting demand for holidays will remain strong next year.

Factors such as squeezed budgets, responsible travel and the desire to try new destinations are expected to impact travel trends over the next 12 months, Abta forecast.

The reports says responsible tourism will define people’s holiday choices more, Abta saying seven in ten people believe travel companies should ensure their holidays help local people and economies.

Popular TV programmes like Blue Planet II which highlighted the environmental plight of the world’s oceans and marine life are thought to be influencing people’s attitudes.

Abta’s key trends for 2018
Responsible Tourism takes centre stage
A taste for alternative destinations
Packages provide certainty
Low-cost long-haul opens up
Luxury meets escapism

In addition holidaymakers are seeking new experiences, with almost a third (32%) expecting to visit a new resort or city in 2018, the report states.

Stretched household budgets are expected to see the package holiday secure its place as the most popular option, as people seek to protect their holiday budget from a volatile pound.

All-inclusive packages, ranging from active river cruises to beach resorts in the Eastern Mediterranean, are also expected to do particularly well.

The report also highlights that there will be an increase in low cost long-haul flights on offer in 2018.

Abta’s 12 destinations to watch (in alphabetical order):
• Argentina
• Arizona
• British Columbia
• Germany
• Malta
• Montenegro
• Nepal
• New Zealand
• Rwanda
• St Lucia
• Sweden
• Turkey

Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “Although household budgets are under pressure, the underlying demand for travel remains strong as savvy British holidaymakers are planning ahead and seeking the best value holidays and destinations.

“While value for money will certainly influence many people’s holiday choices, others will also reflect on the impact their holiday has on local people and the community.

“Popular TV programmes like Blue Planet II have put sustainability issues firmly in the spotlight, increasing awareness of the impact that large numbers of visitors can have on some of the world’s most popular destinations.

“We expect these factors to inform people’s choices about where and how they holiday next year, with a greater demand for holidays to a wide range of alternative destinations.”

The Abta Travel Trends 2018, based on market information and consumer insights, claims that despite wider economic issues, holidays are still a spending priority for UK consumers.

New industry data reveals that bookings for next summer are tracking 5% above last year, reflecting a growing trend for early booking as people look to take advantage of discounts, said Abta.

Research also shows that three in ten people (31%) plan to spend an increased amount on travel next year, up 6% from last year.

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