//More Brits heading on holiday, reveals ABTA
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More Brits heading on holiday, reveals ABTA

ABTA gives industry health check in annual report

The number of Brits taking a holiday is at its highest since 2011, according to ABTA’s Holiday Habits 2019 report.

Overall 88 per cent of Britons took a break in the 12 months to July. That compares to 86 per cent the year before.

In 2019, the number of foreign holidays of seven nights or more increased to 1.1 per person, up from 1.0 last year. In 2016 the number was 0.7 per person. Foreign holidays overall increased to an average of 1.9 per person, up from 1.6 in 2018.

ABTA revealed that 64 per cent of Brits took a foreign holiday, up from 60 per cent last year. Families with older children (those over five years old) took 5.6 holidays in the year, fuelling the growth. Half of the holidays were overseas while half were in the UK. Families with younger children took 3.9 holidays.

Consumers are spending £98 less on short foreign holidays than in the previous year and £94 less on a longer overseas break.

Last year, Brits took 2.0 UK holidays on average, up from 1.8 in 2018.

The report also delved into the popularity of individual destinations – with 38 per cent of Brits booking a holiday to Spain. France was the second most popular destination (23 per cent), followed by the USA (18 per cent) and Italy (17 per cent).

The report, which is in its ninth year, surveyed 2,043 people.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “The British public’s appetite for taking holidays has continued unabated in the past 12 months. This has partly been due to the wide variety of excellent value for money options available this year, and also because holidays are a priority when it comes to discretionary spend.”    

ABTA’s figures also revealed that 22 per cent of 18-24 year olds have booked a holiday “in-store” over the last year, and have sought the advice of a travel professional.

The main reason given for using a travel professional – which could mean tour operator or travel agent – was “ease of booking”. For young people 20 per cent said that they used a travel professional because they thought they would have a better holiday when booking through one.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.