Responsible tourism — making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit — is set to be firmly on people’s radar when making choices around travel and destinations, says a new report released by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
According to the report, factors such as responsible travel, squeezed budgets and the desire to try new and alternative destinations are expected to impact travel trends over the next 12 months.
“Popular TV programs like Blue Planet II have put sustainability issues firmly in the spotlight, increasing awareness of the impact that large numbers of visitors can have on some of the world’s most popular destinations,” says Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive.
Underlying demand for travel remains strong
The ABTA report highlights that despite wider economic issues, holidays are still a spending priority for UK consumers.
New industry figures reveal that bookings for next summer are tracking five percent above last year, reflecting a growing trend for early booking as people look to take advantage of discounts and ensure they get their choice of destination or resort at the right price.
Research also shows that three in ten people (31 percent) plan to spend an increased amount on travel next year, up six percent from last year.
Travel packages provide certainty
The stretched household budget is expected to see the package holiday secure its place as the most popular option for foreign breaks, as people seek to protect their holiday budget from a volatile pound. All-inclusive packages, ranging from active river cruises to beach resorts in the Eastern Mediterranean, are expected to do particularly well.
The report also highlights that there will be an increase in low-cost long-haul flights on offer in 2018, allowing people to go further afield in fuel efficient aircraft without the extra cost and make the most of more competitive currencies.
Seven in ten people believe that travel companies should ensure their holidays help the local people and economy. Furthermore, holidaymakers are seeking new experiences, with almost a third (32 percent) expecting to visit a new resort or city in 2018.
ABTA Travel Trends 2018 also revealed the 12 “Destinations to watch” for 2018: Argentina, Arizona, British Columbia, Germany, Malta, Montenegro, Nepal, New Zealand, Rwanda, St Lucia, Sweden and Turkey.
Based on insider knowledge and market trends, the places were identified for a variety of reasons. According to ABTA, offer a unique travel experience, something special is going on in 2018, there is easier accessibility for British tourists or it’s a well-known destination with hidden gems.