Number of bonded holidays goes up after Monarch collapse

Number of bonded holidays goes up after Monarch collapse

The number of holidaymakers choosing to travel with a fully bonded travel company increased by 30% after the collapse of Monarch, according to the Aito Travel Insights Report 2017.

The survey, released at the Aito overseas conference in Alentejo in Portugal, polled responses from 25,000 consumers during September and October.

The responses received in September, prior to Monarch’s collapse, were compared with those received afterwards in October, and showed a jump in 30% in those who said travelling with a fully bonded Aito company was the most important factor when choosing which company to travel with.

The survey also reported 90% of holidaymakers would continue to travel or travel more over the next three years, almost exactly the same as last year’s survey, despite Brexit, terrorism or the recent collapse of Monarch.

Aito chairman Derek Moore said: “In the wake of the Monarch collapse it’s no surprise that trust in a travel company is more vital than ever. The results of the survey will undoubtedly prove invaluable to our members and help them to retain and increase their market share in a time of increasing uncertainty.

In total 45 companies took part in the research, both supplier members of Association of Independent Tour Operators and Aito Specialist Travel Agents, which surveyed the responses of 25,000 of their customers. The survey was conducted in association with travel data insight agency Spike in September and October 2017.

Holidaymakers most likely to travel more were aged from 55 to 64, according to the survey. City visits were the most popular type of holiday, followed by culture, arts and history, walking and then wildlife. Beach breaks only came eighth for this age group and cruises were 12th on the list.

In terms of holiday spending, 29% of respondents said they spend between £2,000 and £4,999 per person on a trip, up 3% on last year’s survey.

Destinations which came top were France, Italy and Greece. Top longhaul holiday destinations were Australia, India and the US.

In terms of future holidays, respondents said they were looking to go on holiday in China, India, Australia, Russia and Ireland.

Asked about trust in holiday companies, 83% said they booked with specialists because they value the knowledge and expertise and 47% said they choose a travel company based on personal service. Price was only fifth in terms of reasons for booking with a holiday company.

Most holidaymakers, 79%, said they preferred to be contacted by email and nearly half, 48%, said a brochure was the best way to keep them updated – suggesting the brochure is not dead despite the decision by many operators to stop producing them.

Only 9% said they were persuaded to go on holiday by social media and only 1.3% said they would welcome telephone calls from travel companies.

Overall, however, most people (96%) were happy to be kept up to date on holidays through a mix of email, direct mail and brochures.

The average Net Promoter Score for companies in the survey is 64.9, but eight scored 80 or more.

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