ABTA defends new Travel with Confidence campaign after agents complain

By Lisa James
Home » ABTA defends new Travel with Confidence campaign after agents complain

ABTA’s latest Travel with Confidence campaign to encourage people to book with companies using its logo has been launched – but agents are unhappy that they barely get a mention.

The campaign, which went live on Boxing Day, is a two-minute video with testimonials from customers talking about what holidays mean to them and why they book with an ABTA member.

But the campaign doesn’t encourage customers to book through their local ABTA agent, which has upset some retailers.

One ABTA agent said: “ABTA has missed a great opportunity to promote their travel agent members.”

Customers featured in the video had booked through tour operators and online companies: TUI UK, Jet2holidays, easyJet Holidays, Enable Holidays, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, Voyage Privé, Lastminute.com, Eurocamp and Brittany Ferries.

ABTA describes it as a ‘feel-good video’ that ‘drives home the importance people place on their holidays, with customers listing the time away from work, the chance to explore new cultures, the opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and being good for mental health as the main benefits of going away’. 

ABTA Director of Communications Graeme Buck said the Travel with Confidence campaign ‘is designed… to help drive business for our members through the peak booking period’.   

But some agents have expressed disappointment in the campaign, which comes less than three weeks after ABTA was criticised for taking business away from retailers with the launch of its own foreign exchange service.

One ABTA agent said it was ‘very disappointing that ABTA has not promoted booking via a travel agent’, while another said: “This was an easy opportunity to show travel agents that ABTA is supporting them.”

And another pointed out: “After launching their foreign currency service in direct competition to travel agents, ABTA had the chance to show their support for travel agent members but instead are promoting their tour operator members.”

The video will run throughout January and ABTA says it will conclude with a consumer competition.

ABTA told Travel Gossip: “We sourced the content for the Travel with Confidence video by asking members of all types to ask their customers to submit contributions.

“We then included the strongest content received to make the best possible video to promote the ABTA brand overall.

“All ABTA members stand to benefit from this campaign, including agents, through it encouraging people to carry on booking holidays despite the current economic climate and to do so with a business displaying the ABTA logo.”

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