Three quarters of those likely to take a holiday in 2021 are yet to book, according to research among the readers of Mail Metro Media newspapers.

The parent company for newspapers such as The Daily Mail and Metro said its poll of readers showed that demand for travel remains strong and there are many opportunities for agents and operators in the adventure and touring sector to influence customers’ decisions.

Robertina Tompa, MMM travel account manager, presented the findings for members of the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) as part of Atas Touring and Adventure Month, which runs throughout April.

Commenting on the finding that 74% of those readers likely to holiday in 2021 are yet to book anything, she said it means that Atas members need to get ready “as brands can expect a surge in bookings”.


Click here to watch the presentation

This will be, firstly, when the resumption date is confirmed for international travel is confirmed, and, secondly when travel restrictions are eventually lifted, she added.

Tompa said there is “polarised consumer behaviour” between the generations, starting with Generation Z (up to the age of 22), Millennials (up to 38), Generation X (up to 54) and the Babyboomers (over 55).

“Different generations need a different tone and messaging in the polarised new world,” she said.

Other findings show that 43% of readers plan a short-haul holiday before the end of 2022; 28% didn’t say or don’t know; 25% want a long-haul one; and 18% want something ‘exotic’.

For domestic holidays, just over a third (38%) wanted a city break and another third (34%) would opt for a rural holiday.

Tompa said Atas members can highlight to clients how tours operated last year with testing and health and safety protocols to generate confidence among their clients.

She also said the survey found that consumers “want to make up for lost opportunities and grab the opportunity to fully recharge”.

The findings also highlighted a consumer desire to “escape the crowds” and, in the long-term, to opt for sustainable trips.

Tompa said: “This gives an opportunity for operators and destinations to offer low environment impact activities such as hikes and cycling tours.”

However, the findings also revealed the need for more education of consumers about the benefits of group touring holidays, as more than 60% of those surveyed did not know much about the sector.

Claire Brighton, Atas account director, said: “These findings show there are many opportunities and market sectors for Atas members to target in the coming weeks.

“Whether you’re looking at holidays for millennials or for older consumers, there is plenty of pent-up demand.

“But there’s also a gap in the knowledge of consumers – which is a chance for agents to talk about the benefits of group tours and share their expertise.”