Articles tagged with: ABTA
Two days before the start of English Tourism week, Visit England launched a multi- million pound TV campaign. he same day ABTA, Association of British Travel Agents, wrote to the government bemoaning the “lop-sided” support of domestic tourism and that this promotion was a misuse of government money.
Depending on whom you talk to, between 1-8 million and two million of us are airport bound this weekend as we use the last bank holiday of summer to take a break. The AA says that 16 million of us will take to the roads to explore parts of the UK and Ireland. Yet again, the media suggests it will be a record number of us travelling. When did they ever say it wasn’t?
At this time of the year, there are lots of organisations telling us where we are holidaying over Easter. Are we staying at home or going abroad? Will we be affected by strikes, road engineering works or ferry terminal blockades?
This Easter seems a little odd. No strikes on the horizon; no air traffic control disputes, no ferry problems. All we have are road works to contend.
So on that cheery note, where are we off to?
Yesterday the transport minister, Theresa Villiers, announced reforms to the way holidays are bonded. Or rather she announced what the government proposed to do subject to consultation. After that, and provided there aren’t suggestions, watered down ideas or whatever, the legislation will come in until the end of the year.
The online travel agency, On the Beach, has conducted a survey amongst its website users (so they aren’t representative of the population as a whole or even just of online users) and has come up with some figures that should worry the British domestic travel industry. 96% of all responders said that they will spend their summer holidays abroad in 2011 and the two most frequently given reasons were the weather and that British hotels were too expensive. 70% said that a holiday in the UK was more expensive than going abroad.
ABTA has produced a 42 page report on what it thinks will be the travel trends of 2011. Forecasts are fun if only to look back on in 12 months time and see what didn’t come to pass. They got one thing right last year though. 2010 has been a tough year with a number of airlines and tour operators going bust as the industry tried to second guess what we, the travellers, would do. We booked later than ever; more of us stayed at home than many expected yet long haul proved a growth area.
So what for 2011?
As you all know by know, there is a bonding system for holidays called ATOL. To remind you, the idea behind it is that if you buy from someone who is ATOL bonded, your holiday should be covered in the event that the tour operator goes bust. You will get your money back (but it might take a while) but not a replacement holiday. The problem with the system is that if you book your accommodation and flight separately you may not be covered.
This is the biggest weekend of the summer holiday when supposedly the largest number of people head off. And judging by the state of the M25 yesterday that could be the case. On the Surrey section there were entry speed advisory signs of 40mph and slow moving traffic when I crossed over it. A National Express coach going from Gatwick to Swansea came up from Dorking and headed off towards Cobham in an attempt to try and avoid the traffic, a sure sign of lots of traffic since a regular North Surrey-Swansea link isn’t in the timetable
According to ABTA, about 2 million of us will leave the country to enjoy Easter abroad. And maybe some decent weather after the returning wintry conditions of this week.
It won’t come as a great surprise to many of you that Spanish resorts are doing well with Tenerife and the Canaries leading the way. You could also guess that Egypt and Turkey are doing well and so they are but Tunisia has also picked up a lot of bookings. Going slightly further afield, Florida is attracting the usual school age groups and booking seem to be up despite the fact that the biggest new attraction, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter doesn’t open until June 18th.
The usual places seem to fill the top spots each year for overseas citybreak destinations. Paris, Amsterdam and Dublin lead the pack with Milan and New York not far behind and this is despite the weakness of the pound against the euro and the dollar.
So who is going away?
Just before Christmas, we mentioned a few ideas that some of the experts thought would flourish in 2010. Today we have the thoughts of another four groups on what they think, ABTA, IPK, STA Travel and the Intercontinental Hotels chain. You might remember that Mintel thought it would be another year of the staycation with days out and weekend breaks becoming more prominent. And Euromonitor forecast the rise of pop up hotels which could be assembled (and taken down) quickly and which would offer inexpensive accommodation.
ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) says that Sri Lanka, Mexico and Thailand will see more tourists from the UK than they had in 2009.
Around here the schools have just broken up and kids are everywhere. But so are cars heavily laden with luggage so it is obvious that some people are leaving tonight for the Christmas break. Maybe they are all trying to travel before even more snow comes over the weekend.
ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) claims that today and next Wednesday will be two busiest days on the roads or at railway stations, airports and ferry terminals as people make the way off for the break. They estimate that 3 million us will be heading away of the Christmas period. This number is about the same as last year so our appetite for a break seems as strong as ever
ABTA members will be able to provide holiday information to those people that they sell holidays to. The system, known as ABTA Travel Buddy, an irksome name if ever there was one, enables ABTA members to e-mail or text their clients (you and me) with information after we have booked. The information could be about the destinations we are going to, reminders about health insurance and what would be available in a country if there was a health emergency. In the event of political issues developing in the country, then Foreign Office advice could also be sent and travellers could be located if a real emergency arose.
In Barcelona away from the rain we’ve been having this week, travel agents who are members of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) have been gathering for their annual conference.
Some are saying that the era of the last minute holiday is ending. We will all have to book well in advance to get we went. Now this has been heard time after time after time and whilst the industry might well love the idea, it isn’t going to happen. Well not completely.
From the website:
“Formed in 1950 by 22 leading travel companies, ABTA – The Travel Association – now represents over 5,000 travel agencies and more than 900 tour operations, throughout the British Isles. Our Members range from small, specialist tour operators and independent travel agencies through to publicly-listed companies and household names; from call centres to internet booking services to high street shops. All of them carry the ABTA logo, which means choice, value, and high levels of service. ”
Last Wednesday was, of course, the budget. I have desisted a quick response because there is usually something lurking that takes a while to ferret out but so far those with more financial nous than me haven’t spotted more to affect tourists than those below. To listen to the industry you would have thought it [...]
According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), 2 million people are heading overseas for the Easter break. There are two important facts beneath this headline. The first is that there has been a large last minute booking rush by people so those people who have been saying that, more than ever this year, [...]
With travel agencies opening for the first day after Christmas traditionally, today, begins the big booking period for summer holidays. Its cold across most of the country but dry on the whole and it will be bright.Why the weather forecast?Generally if it is raining, snowing or the weather is miserable then summer holiday bookings increase. [...]
There have been a number of high profile collapses this year amongst them XL, Zoom, Online Travel Group and Fitura. The ABTA bonding scheme means that if you book your accommodation and flight together through an ABTA bonded travel agent you are protected. If you book them separately, you aren’t.If you pay for your flight, [...]