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Consumers 20% more likely to use agents in 2021

And five other travel trends for next year

New data released by the UK’s leading association for travel agents and tour operators has revealed that a significant number of consumers will be more likely to use a travel professional now than before the coronavirus pandemic. 


Travel agents' up-to-date advice is highly valued, says a new report (Image Unsplash)


In ABTA - The Travel Association’s ‘Six Trends for Travel in 2021’ report, consumers said they would be 20% more likely overall to book their travel through an agent, with two in five (41%) preferring the security of a holiday package, and a similar number (40%) seeking a travel professional’s up-to-date advice. 


“This is testament to the many agents and operators who went the extra mile to help their customers this year,” said ABTA upon release of the report, adding that its members “have also responded to changing customer needs by offering additional benefits and flexibility beyond the existing protections of a package holiday”. 


Two other trends ABTA predicts are the emergence of travellers looking to return to their favourite spots and those seeking bucket list trips. 


With COVID-19 no doubt a major influence on choice of destination, it’s understandable that far less people (32%) admitted to a desire to visit a new country than in last year’s (45%) report. 


And with their isolated locations, bucket list trips like Mount Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail and Northern Lights are also expected to be popular in 2021. 


The remaining trends ABTA predicted for travel in 2021 were a rise in country escapes, a commitment to cruising, and eco-friendly travel. 


According to the report, younger travellers are especially keen to explore, with two-thirds (62%) of 18-24 year-olds intending to spend as much or more on their holidays next year, and nearly a quarter (22%) saying this would be to take the trip of a lifetime. 


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 9 December 2020

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