‘Online generation’ still values offline agents, says Abta study

A quarter of younger travellers have booked an overseas holiday with a high street travel agent over the last 12 months, new Abta research has revealed, suggesting that the ‘internet generation’ values the services of travel professionals.

According to Abta’s survey, nearly a third of those aged 25-34 opted for a high street travel agent when it came to booking an overseas holiday, making them the most likely age group to use them in the last 12 months.

The research also showed that those under 35 are the least confident about booking a ‘DIY holiday’ – where accommodation and travel are booked separately.

The survey also looked at the number of holidays taken each year, and found that young travellers are taking more holidays both in the UK and abroad during 2012 than the previous year.

On average, 25-34 year olds took 4.5 holidays in the UK and overseas compared to four a year ago, while 15-24 year olds took almost five breaks, in contrast to four last year.

Travellers aged 15-34 are more likely than other age group to take shorter trips abroad of 1-3 or 4-6 nights, while the growing popularity in music festivals may have helped fuel the trend, with 14% of 15-24 year olds taking a trip to one in the past year.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The younger generation are clearly determined to make the most of their freedom and opportunities for travel whatever the economic climate.

“The research suggests they like to go away frequently and for shorter amounts of time than older age groups, which represents a great opportunity for travel companies to tap into this trend.

“They are also the most likely to look for, respect and value the services provided by travel professionals, which is a great credit to the services that these professionals provide and demonstrates that even the internet generation likes the personal touch.”

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