80% booking holidays online, finds study

As many as 80% of people now book their holiday via the internet, a study out today (Friday) claims.

Nine out of ten research their holiday online before travelling, while eight out of ten use comparison sites to check currency and four out of ten buy foreign money online.

The research by independent comparison site also found that prepaid cards are replacing travellers’ cheques as backup to travel cash.

Moe than 360 people responded to the family travel poll run in partnership with FairFX.

The key findings of the study were that:

  • People ranked special offers on accommodation and flights as important factors in choosing their holiday destination.
  • Beach holidays are two and a half times more popular than city breaks.
  • People are reluctant to pay for food up front. Self-catering was the most popular option followed by bed and breakfast, then half board and full board.
  • 7 out of 10 people book their holiday without using a tour operator.
  • Although there are many organisations that offer protection to travellers the two that are most recognised are Abta and ATOL.
  • 9 out of 10 people research their holiday online before booking while 8 out of 10 book their holiday online.
  • For nearly 6 out of 10 their holiday is the most expensive purchase they have made online.
  • 7 out of 10 holidays cost more than £1,500 and more than 3 out of 10 cost more than £2,500.

FairFX chief executive Ian Strafford-Taylor said “Budget airlines paved the way for the online revolution in the travel industry and it is clear now that consumers are going online to research all aspects of their holiday.

“Consumers are realising that online companies are able to offer better deals than some of the big travel players, as they have none of the costly overheads that come with a having a presence on the high street.

“Currency is a prime example of this and it’s still early days – we would expect over the next few years to see a further increase in people moving online as they realise the cost savings they can make on their holidays.” partner Peter Rudin-Burgee said: “Our results show most British tourists are travelling to European destinations and with all the headlines surrounding Greece and Spain at present, it’s likely people are worrying about travel money more than they would usually.”

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