Just 20% of consumers plan to book their next holiday by visiting a high street travel agent, despite many wanting tailored, personalised service.

Just over 20% of people will be purchasing holidays this month, the traditional peak booking period, but the survey says more than half (53%) look for trips at other times of the year, suggesting that ‘Sunshine Saturday’ – the first Saturday in January – may be a myth.

The findings come from a study of 1,500 respondents carried out for personalisation software firm Monetate.

It claims 20% of people book holidays in March and April.

Many believe ‘Sunshine Saturday’ to be the peak day but more than 52% of respondents booking in January will be booking after January 5.

More than 60% of 18-24 year-olds said they purchase a holiday in the first week of the month, compared to 26% of 55-64 year-olds.

The poll found 61% will likely book holidays on a PC or laptop while 40% will be using their mobile phone or tablet.

This is compared to 20% who said they would visit their local high street travel store to book.

More than half (54%) will be using online travel agents such as Booking.com or lastminute.com, the study claims.

A majority (85%) of those surveyed said they would be open to a travel company personalising their holiday suggestions, with almost a third of those (26%) stating they need ‘all the help they can get’ to choose where to holiday.

Almost half (47%) say they want a clear tailored and personalised booking experience when looking for a holiday.

This is their second most important concern behind finding discount vouchers and offers (55%), showing how price conscious consumers are.

And 53% would be willing to pay more to have a personalised holiday booking experience such as flights based on location, recommendations on the type of hotel offered, suggested activities and a specific ‘made-for-one’ package.

Monetate global strategy and insights director Simon Farthing said: “One thing is clear – consumers will expect personalisation when booking a holiday this year.

“Consumers are in the market to book and can be encouraged to purchase when recommendations are tailored.”

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