A majority (57 per cent) of Britons have a holiday abroad booked in the next 12 months, according to research by UK travel industry body Abta, produced in partnership with The Nursery Research and Planning.
This represents an increase compared with the previous figure recorded in October 2021, which found that only 44 per cent of respondents were planning a trip in the next year.
The research also found that people are 39 per cent ‘more likely’ to book with a travel professional than they were pre-pandemic, with key reasons being for access to guidance with travel requirements (47 per cent of respondents), and broader travel expertise (40 per cent).
Abta credits the rise in bookings to the ‘steady relaxation of testing requirements since the start of the year, making the process of heading off abroad much easier and cheaper’ – the last UK Covid travel measures were removed on 18 March.
“From now on, people can enjoy their holiday up to the last minute without having to think about any paperwork or tests on their return to the UK,” said Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of Abta. “While we’re not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, our research clearly shows that consumer confidence is returning, and things are looking up for the industry.”
Sunshine and sandy beaches remain a key draw for UK travellers
UK travellers are also primarily drawn to destinations that ‘promise sunshine, sandy beaches and a multitude of things to see and do’, with traditional holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey remaining firm favourites. In addition, the number of people planning to travel to Egypt is up 87 per cent, Malta up by 51 per cent, the UAE up 31 per cent, Portugal up 30 per cent, and Mexico up 26 per cent.
In addition, UK holidaymakers are drawn to destinations which welcome them ‘with either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative Covid-19 test – or no vaccination or testing requirements at all, as is the case in Mexico.’