ABTA to provide agent guidance on selling domestic holidays

ABTA is to offer members guidance and support on how to increase their share of the domestic market, following an upsurge in UK holiday sales.

According to ABTA, thanks to the recession and weak pound, domestic operators are reporting a boom as Britons look to reduce their holiday expenditure.

Hoseasons, for example, has seen a 30% rise in bookings year-on-year.

ABTA agreed to put together guidance for agents after Travel Weekly asked what was available for retailers.

The trend towards domestic holidays has also been confirmed by findings of a survey by Continental Research that showed the UK is now the top holiday choice for 20 to 54-year olds for this year.

In the past, agents have concentrated on long-haul holidays as these generate more commission, but in the light of the recession, agents need to make the most of the domestic market too, said ABTA spokes-­person Frances Tuke.

“It’s good for agents to look at the UK but it’s important they know how to market it and what to sell. It’s no good an agent in Wembley trying to sell weekend breaks to London, for example.

“We’ll be working with our UK Tourism and Leisure Committee to develop a package of measures to support members,” she said.

Hoseasons business development director Pali Badwal – a member of the committee – welcomed the initiative.

“What is important is to make sure that the offering is relevant to the agent and their consumer type.

“It’s a case of making sure retailers know that more customers who may have gone abroad in the past may now stay in the UK,” he said.

The other members of the UK Tourism and Leisure Committee are Superbreak, Bourne Leisure, Pontin’s, Cottages 4 You and Preston Holidays.

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