As UK holidaymakers look to plan a last minute getaway for next weeks Bank Holiday weekend, they are likely to head online, according to new research out today from Amadeus. The findings show that more than half the population (51%) are turning to online travel agencies such as Opodo and Airline Network when deciding where to escape on holiday, rather than leafing through more traditional paper brochures (34%).
According to the research, holidaymakers also regularly turn to:
* personal recommendations from their friends and family (32%)
* their local high street travel agent (29%)
* tourism websites (22%)
Surprisingly, only 14% of UK travellers turn to print media when planning where to go on holiday, preferring instead to explore their options online or at their local travel agency.
Stephane Durand, Managing Director of Amadeus UK, said “These days travellers want to explore their choice of destination before they even get there. They use the web because it has such a wide variety of information that can be easily accessed. However, people should be cautious to distinguish between useful facts and ‘roadside litter’ on the information super highway. For complex trips, or gaining insider knowledge, it would be hard to beat the professional advice a travel agent can provide when deciding where to go, what to see and what to avoid.”
When it comes to booking, British travellers seem to be increasingly independent with around 2 in 5 (41%) of the population building their own trips by booking online directly with the airline, hotel or car rental firm they choose. However, requirements for the personal touch remain with 1 in 5 travellers (20%) still regularly turning to their high street travel agent to book their holidays.
As with researching a trip, online travel agencies remain popular with more than 1 in 3 (36%) regularly turning to an online agency to book their holidays. Of all the many options offered to holidaymakers when it comes to booking, call centres appear to be the least popular with only 18% of travellers regularly picking up the phone to book their holidays.
Durand continued: “British travellers have become increasingly sophisticated when it comes to researching and booking their holidays and the travel industry has responded to that. Technology has helped the travel industry provide consumers with the ability to choose their preferred means of booking, suited to the individual needs of the traveller.”