TTC 2011: Holidays last to go despite tough climate

Consumers would rather sacrifice home improvements, gadgets and eating out than going on a holiday, despite the tough economic climate.

According to the 2011 Abta Consumer Trends survey, four out of 10 consumers said they would be least likely to cut back on holidays when trying to make savings.

In total, 37% of respondents said they would be most unwilling to cut back on their holiday, compared to 20% who were most unwilling to cut back on eating out; 17% on leisure activities; 15% on new electronic gadgets and 12% on home improvements.

The survey also shows that one in five respondents regard a longer trip overseas as a necessity they could not do without, while one in four see a UK short break as just as essential.

Results from the same survey, released at The Travel Convention in Palma, revealed that more than half (53%) of consumers who took a foreign holiday in the last 12 months booked through a travel agent or tour operator. The split was 25% through travel agencies and 28% through tour operators.

Younger consumers and women were more likely to use high-street travel agents, according to the survey. A third of 16-24 year olds (32%) used a high-street travel agent while only 15% of 45-54 year olds used an agent. Similarly, around a third of women (31%) booked through an agent in the last 12 months compared to only 19% of men.

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