More than a quarter of people still feel foreign travel from the UK should be prohibited, new Abta research shows.
A poll of 2,000 consumers carried out on 7 and 8 August showed resistance to travel despite the progress of the vaccine, with 26% against going abroad. Of this 26%, an overwhelming majority - 88% - said they felt foreign holidays should not be permitted.
Another 41% said international travel measures needed to be tightened.
Speaking during Abta’s Consumer Sentiment Towards Travel webinar, Emma Brennan, Abta’s head of media and PR, said there was also surprising resistance to travel among younger age groups.
Half of 18-25s questioned in another poll in July were against the removal of the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning from green and amber countries. Among 25 to 34-year-olds, 43% were against.
She attributed to this to the lack of vaccinations among younger age groups but added 38% overall said test and quarantine “shouldn’t be necessary” when returning from these destinations.
Cost of testing emerged as a significant barrier to travel, with 48% saying this was a factor, while 50% said the threat of quarantine was an issue. Queues at borders were an issue for 24%.
Abta also found a third of holidaymakers would spend “about the same on travel this year and next, with 10-11% of all age groups “slightly more”.
Brennan said an Abta web page detailing amber list requirements had proved very popular with consumers.
“People do want to travel, but there is a lot of nervousness, so travel brands need to factor this into the messaging and positioning,” she added.
Consumer insights firm GWI provided good news for the industry, with an increase in support for trusted travel brands. A total of 33% of those surveyed in July said it was important to book with a brand they trusted, compared to 25% in May and 17% in February.
Only 21% said the state of the pandemic was a factor in booking, compared to 41% in February.
Stuart Baker, GWI’s business director, travel, leisure, hospitality & services, advised the industry to leverage consumers’ trust: “Continue to work as a collective, you are in a place of authority, so maximise what you do,” he said.