UK consumer awareness of Abta has notched up by two percentage points in the past year to 73%.

New research shows that people have positive associations with the Abta brand.

Almost three quarters (73%) regard Abta membership as essential or important when booking a holiday, also up by 2% from last year.

A significant majority of the 1,962 people polled also strongly associate Abta with expertise (69%), confidence (65%), reassurance (65%), safety (68%), reliability (68%) and quality (65%).

There is a high expectation that travel companies will be Abta members, as many as three quarters of people expect their holiday company to be an Abta member.

The research also suggests that not being a member is detrimental to a company’s business, with 63% saying they think less positively of non-member companies.

Abta’s help and advice in the event of a travel crisis is considered ‘essential’ by 65% of respondents, perhaps reflecting the challenging events of the last 12 months impacting the industry, according to the association.

The code of conduct used to regulate members, setting standards for the industry to work to, financial protection arrangements and help in resolving holiday complaints are all services considered to be essential by a majority of people.

Abta brand and business development director, Victoria Bacon, said: “It is very heartening to see both awareness of ABTA and positive associations with the brand strengthen over the last 12 months.

“During a period when online holiday fraud has increased, and when high profile global events have thrown a spotlight on the industry, it is clear that the confidence that the Abta badge brings, and the consumer advice and support that we are able to provide on behalf of our members are more important than ever.”