Consumers who book Aito holidays are economically resilient, despite the turmoil of the pandemic, according a survey.

The poll of Aito consumers was the third monthly AITO Travel Tracker, carried out by Spike Insights on behalf of The Specialist Travel Association

Roy Barker, co-founder of Spike, said the July findings showed Aito customers were “quite financially resilient and keen travellers”.

About 60% expect their financial circumstances to remain the same. Meanwhile, about 68% of them expect the general economic situation in this country to worsen over the next 12 months.

 

AITO Screenshot 2020-08-05 at 12.45.41

Other figures also show “some cause for optimism for bounceback next year”, he said.

About 38% expect to spend the same on travel in 2021 as they did in 2019, and 30% expect to spend more. About a fifth (21%) feel they will spend less.

The ‘vanguard’ of travellers who are keen to head overseas has risen from 73% of those polled in June to 79% in July.

“These are people who are self-starters, they’re not waiting for other people,” said Barker.

“It is positive for the future of the market.”


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Almost half (48%) expect to book a Europe/short-haul break within the next six months and more than three quarters (77%) expect to book a Europe/shorthaul break within the next 12 months.

France, Spain, Greece and Italy are the most popular short-haul destinations, while Canada, the US, Australia and NZ are top long-haul choices.

 

Aito screen grab Spike Aug 3

Barker said about 14% of respondents said Spain was their first choice, which is a significant amount but shows that Aito are customers “less exposed than the whole market”.

Martyn Summers (pictured), Aito executive director, highlighted how popular long-haul destinations were all English-speaking countries and speculated it might reflect consumers’ confidence about travelling to places where they speak the same language.

City breaks were the most popular holiday type, cited by 40%, followed by escorted group tour (37%); beach (35%); walking (33%); lakes and mountains (32%); and adventure/activity (31%).

The least popular types were honeymoon (1%) and coach (5%).

The age profile of Aito consumers is older than the general population with the 50-70+ age group being predominant.

However, the survey still showed most people would be happy to travel overseas before effective treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 are developed.

Summers commented: “The thing that will stop the majority of people travelling are daft government rules and regulations that are putting  a block on going forward.”

He also highlighted how TV presenter Eamonn Holmes had sung the praises of expert travel agents when speaking to Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley and Aito Agents’ chair Gemma Antrobus.

“He has been hugely supportive of travel agents and that feeds into operators,” said Sumners.

“Why would you want to package yourself when there are experts. His message is use experts. In the long run, you get something better than if you put it together yourself.”

So far the tracker has collated responses from 21,000 Aito customers.