More than half of UK travelers are planning a trip abroad in the next 12 months with Greece among their top choices, according to the latest data released by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
More specifically, 57 percent of those polled in ABTA’s consumer sentiment study conducted by The Nursery Research and Planning at the end of February, said they had booked a trip abroad in the next 12 months, up from 44 percent in October 2021, as confidence to travel returns after the UK lifted Covid-19 restrictions.
UK holidaymakers planning ahead are again picking Greece, Spain, France, Italy, and Turkey. ABTA goes on to add, however, that other destinations are moving up in popularity.
The UK government lifted all travel restrictions on March 18 clearing the way for travel and contributing to the overall improved sentiment, which ABTA figures indicate are fast approaching pre-pandemic levels.
“While we’re not yet back to pre-pandemic levels, our research clearly shows that consumer confidence is returning, and things are looking up for the industry,” said ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer.
Meanwhile, Egypt is back on Brits’ wish lists gaining in popularity. Compared to 2019 travel intentions, the number of those planning to travel to Egypt is up by 87 percent, followed by Malta (51 percent), the United Arab Emirates by 31 percent, Portugal by 30 percent and Mexico by 26 percent.
A key observation in the ABTA report reveals an interest by travelers in destinations with sunshine, sandy beaches and lots of activities, as well as in countries welcoming travelers with either proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid-19 test or no vaccination or testing requirements at all.
The research also found an increase in those seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent. According to ABTA, 39 percent are more likely to book with a travel professional than before the pandemic, primarily for their guidance with Covid-19 travel requirements (47 percent) and for travel expertise (40 percent).