Only 15% of people took a foreign holiday between February and July, highlighting the need for urgent government action to help the travel sector, Abta has said.
Abta’s research showed 87% of consumers were taking fewer holidays because of the pandemic.
It added: “The current government restrictions around international travel are a major contributing factor in people’s reticence to travel, with 93% of people concerned about potential last-minute changes to foreign office travel advice and 4 in 5 people concerned about having to quarantine when they return from holiday to the UK.
“While general support measures, such as furlough and the business interruption loan schemes, have given breathing space to some travel businesses, the government has been too slow to act on the tailored support that Abta has been calling for since the start of the crisis.”
Abta singled out agents as being in dire need of help.
“Without tailored support, including further grants to aid recovery, travel agents in particular face a very difficult few months ahead.
“These businesses, the vast majority of whom are SMEs, and which includes high-street businesses that are an integral part of communities across the UK, have had no revenue for nearly a year.
“The Job Support Scheme, which requires people to pay a minimum of 55% of salaries, does not go far enough for these businesses to avoid difficult decisions to let go of valued of staff members.”
Abta warned of “even more disruption in 2021” with Brexit looming and said “many questions for travellers and travel businesses regarding the UK’s future arrangements with the EU remain unanswered”.
Other findings from the research were that more than half of consumers think the travel industry must reopen in a greener way.
Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “There is no doubt that people’s confidence and trust in the industry has taken a huge hit – and we must work hard to earn that trust back. Not only is that by being creative and flexible in terms of the holiday and customer experience we offer, but also by making sustainability a fundamental principle of travel.
“We have to look at the whole spectrum of sustainability issues and ask ourselves – how can we do more? Out of every crisis is opportunity – for the travel industry – our opportunity is embracing sustainability.
“We have a duty to come back stronger and more responsible to ensure our future survival.”