The collapse of Thomas Cook last year has not dampened Britons’ ambitions to travel this year, new research by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed.
According to a poll of more than 4,000 UK adults, 65% of respondents said Cook’s failure last September hadn’t affected their desire to book a holiday this year.
The survey found 57% of Brits plan to book at least one international holiday this year, while 49% said they would rather go on several short trips rather than one long trip.
A third of respondents, though, said they didn’t know how to check for Atol protection when booking their trip, often favouring DIY mini-breaks over financially protected getaways.
The CAA said the travel sector would have adapted to the “rapidly changing” ways in which holidays are booked, with more consumers opting to book online rather than on the high street.
However, the authority said there were still myriad benefits of booking with traditional travel agents and tour operators.
“Going to a travel agent not only supports local retailers and the high street but can be financially beneficial for travellers,” said the CAA.
“With expert knowledge of the travel industry and special relationships with suppliers across the world, travel agents and tour operators can negotiate deals and craft tailor-made holidays to suit any interest.”
Michael Budge, CAA head of Atol licensing, added: “The ease of searching for your next break online, separately sourcing flights and accommodation that suits you, is attractive to many holidaymakers.
“However, aside from supporting stores on our high streets and in our shopping centres, booking with a travel agent or tour operator means you have access to expert knowledge of destinations, activities, hotels and flights and can utilise the relationships travel agents have spent years negotiating with suppliers to get the best deals on your next trip.
“Whether you are looking for the next big family holiday or just a two-night city-break, booking an Atol-protected package holiday with your high street travel agent means you can book with the confidence that, no matter what happens to your travel agent or tour operator, you will be financially protected.”