More than two out of three overseas bookings this summer were made online, exclusive research for Travel Weekly suggests.
A survey of 500 holidaymakers by Explore Research found 68% said they booked their main overseas holiday “wholly online”.
Just 11% said they booked wholly face to face with a travel agent, 10% did so online and by phone, and 4% wholly over the phone. The remaining bookings were split between phone and face to face; online and face to face; and a mix of all three. Two per cent of respondents were unclear.
Explore also asked what sort of booking people made. Two out of five (40%) said they booked a package holiday, 32% booked separate flights and accommodation from different sources, 10% separate flights and accommodation from a single source (a Flight-Plus booking) and 11% flight‑only. A further 6% of bookings involved rail or ferry bookings and 1% were unclear.
The survey did not ask consumers what kind of company they made an online booking with and it assumed consumers could identify a package holiday.
John McEwan, chief executive of Advantage Travel Centres and chairman of Abta, said: “Online is the biggest single channel so the results are not a big surprise.
“There are major online travel retailers, and Tui Travel and Thomas Cook are taking a significant proportion of bookings online.”
However, he said 68% “does seem high”, adding: “At Advantage we see a lot of evidence of people instigating transactions online, then doing more on the phone. There is a mix in the middle.”
McEwan added: “Our research shows agents consistently around 28%-29% of the total holiday market.”