Holiday demand returns to pre-pandemic levels

By Harry Kemble
20/03/2023
Home » Holiday demand returns to pre-pandemic levels

ABTA says 62% of people have been on an overseas holiday since the UK’s final COVID travel restrictions were lifted a year ago.

The remaining restrictions were ditched on 18 March 2022, meaning travellers – regardless of vaccination status – no longer needed to take any tests or complete forms on their return to the UK.

Fast forward 12 months, ABTA’s latest data shows demand for travel is now in line with pre-pandemic levels, with many of its members reporting record-breaking sales levels this year.

Around two-thirds (65%) of people polled by ABTA are planning to go on a holiday abroad in the next 12 months and a third (37%) have already booked.

More than half (54%) of consumers say they will cut back on non-essential costs so they can afford to go on holiday.

ABTA and trade association UKInbound forecast the outbound sector is expected to grow by 15% by 2027.

ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer says holidays are a ‘spending priority’ for Brits, despite the current squeeze on finances.

He said: “One of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic is now back, and in a big way, with demand for travel reaching pre-pandemic levels.

“People are preferring to adapt their travel plans rather than scrap them entirely, primarily by going all-inclusive, booking early, or holidaying outside of busy periods.”

But he warned that challenges lay ahead for the sector, adding that many smaller companies still had ‘a debt hangover’ from the pandemic.

“A clear focus for the sector will be to continue the recovery by building a more sustainable industry, ensuring people and communities gain the economic and social positives it brings while addressing environmental challenges,” added Tanzer.

“Government support in this area will be critical in helping with hard to tackle issues such as decarbonising aviation.”

To help mark the one-year anniversary of restrictions lifting, ABTA has prepared  #WeAreABTAmembers social media posts for members to share on their channels.

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