Consumers are nearly a third more likely to use an agent and to book a package holiday now than before the pandemic, new Abta research has revealed.
The association found consumers were now 28% more likely to use a travel professional and 31% more likely to book a package.
The main reasons for booking with an agent confirmed the importance of feeling protected and reassured, with half citing the security of a package holiday as why they would book with a travel professional.
This was followed by a desire for up-to-date advice from an agent, which appealed to 42%. A big proportion, 48%, wanted to trust travel companies to look after them.
Among the reasons given for booking a package, 51% said they wished to be looked after in case something goes wrong and 49% said for financial protection.
“Abta members are reporting enquiries coming from new customers who haven’t booked with them before,” the association said.
The research also showed 63% of people hoped to book a holiday abroad in the next six months or longer.
Abta’s director of communications Graeme Buck said: “Travel professionals and package holidays have an important role to play in helping people feel reassured and confident to book and travel this year, and we’re seeing more and more people turning to them as they plan their holidays.
“Over the last 12 months there has been a lot of uncertainty around international travel, with holidays having to be changed or postponed, but there is a lot of pent-up demand for holidays.
“People are increasingly recognising that they can get great value for money, added protection and the benefit of having someone else plan their holiday or make changes if needed further down the line.”