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Travel Agents - UK - December 2011

“In the long term, agents may have particular opportunities as a result of countries opening up to the advantages (ie revenue generation) of increased tourism. Destinations such as Libya where infrastructure is non-existent will give agents the chance to present themselves as the perfect ‘gateway to the new’.

– Tom Rees, Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst

Some questions answered in the report include:

  • How can travel agents benefit from the ageing UK population?
  • What can agents do to capitalise on the staycation trend in 2012?
  • How can travel agents take advantage of 2011’s geopolitical unrest across the Middle East/North Africa (the ‘Arab Spring’)?
  • What do developments in air travel mean for agents?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Forecast number of overseas holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
              • Figure 2: Forecast number of domestic holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
            • Market factors
              • Overseas holidays down by a fifth
                • Figure 3: Overseas holiday volume, 2006-11
              • Staycations still on
                • Figure 4: Domestic holiday volume, 2006-11
              • Packages under 15 million
                • Figure 5: Package versus independent holidays, by volume, 2005-10
              • Holiday priority
                • Figure 6: What extra money is spent on, top ten – October 2011
              • Second for research
                • Figure 7: Research sources used, 2011
              • Ageing population
                • Figure 8: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-16
              • Companies, brands and innovation
                • Market share
                  • Figure 9: Leading travel agents, by number of retail outlets*, 2010
                • Cuts, consolidation and expansion
                  • Thomas Cook
                    • Thomson/First Choice
                      • Virgin Holidays
                        • Flight Centre
                          • Midcounties Co-op
                            • ABTA
                              • Innovation
                                • The consumer
                                  • Travel agent use
                                    • Figure 10: Use of travel agents in past two years, October 2011
                                  • Reasons for use
                                    • Figure 11: Top five reasons for travel agent use, 2010 and 2011
                                  • What people think of travel agents
                                    • Figure 12: Top five attitudes towards travel agents, 2010 and 2011
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues in the Market

                                      • How can travel agents benefit from the ageing UK population?
                                        • What can agents do to capitalise on the staycation trend in 2012?
                                          • How can travel agents take advantage of 2011’s geopolitical unrest across the Middle East/North Africa (the ‘Arab Spring’)?
                                            • What do developments in air travel mean for agents?
                                            • Future Opportunities

                                                • Let's Make a Deal
                                                  • Immaterial World
                                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Overseas holidays still falling
                                                        • Figure 13: Overseas holiday volume and value, 2005-10
                                                        • Figure 14: Average overseas holiday expenditure*, 2005-10
                                                      • Staycation (re)surge
                                                        • Figure 15: Domestic holidays in the UK, volume and value, 2005-10
                                                      • Packages drop to under 15 million
                                                        • Figure 16: Inclusive tours versus independent holidays, by volume, 2005-10
                                                      • ‘Other countries’
                                                        • Figure 17: Overseas holidays, by region, 2005-10
                                                      • Thomas Cook falls under the media microscope
                                                        • Figure 18: ATOL tour operator failures/closures in the UK, October 2010-October 2011
                                                      • TUI merges brands
                                                        • Flight-plus shifts to April 2012
                                                        • Broader Market Environment

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Lean years ahead
                                                              • Figure 19: GDP quarterly percentage change, Q1 2006-Q3 2011
                                                              • Figure 20: GfK NOP Consumer Confidence Index, January 2008-October 2011
                                                              • Figure 21: Annual average exchange rates for Sterling, 2007-11
                                                            • Agent research rise
                                                              • Figure 22: Research sources used for last holiday abroad, 2010 and 2011
                                                              • Figure 23: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2006-11
                                                            • Agents can look to ageing
                                                              • Figure 24: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-16
                                                              • Figure 25: Forecast adult population trends, by lifestage, 2006-16
                                                            • ABs, C2s rise
                                                              • Figure 26: Forecast adult population trends, by socio-economic group, 2006-16
                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Holidays commanding smaller slice of ‘extra’ money
                                                                • Figure 27: Trends in what extra money is spent on, November 2009-October 2011
                                                              • A luxury in the firing line
                                                                • Figure 28: Trends in activities done and planning to do, July 2011-October 2011
                                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Kuoni launches Box Holidays and a fair trade option
                                                                  • Online…
                                                                    • …and on call
                                                                      • Expansion and flagships
                                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Overseas holiday fall hurts agents
                                                                            • Figure 29: Estimated number of overseas holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
                                                                            • Figure 30: Channel used to book holiday, 2010 and 2011
                                                                          • Domestic holidays distant
                                                                            • Figure 31: Estimated number of domestic holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
                                                                          • Forecast
                                                                            • Figure 32: Forecast number of overseas holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
                                                                            • Figure 33: Forecast number of domestic holidays booked via travel agents, 2006-16
                                                                          • Forecast methodology
                                                                          • Segment Performance

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Holiday costs
                                                                                • Figure 34: Total cost of holiday, by booking channel, 2010 and 2011
                                                                              • Six in ten agent users take three weeks or less
                                                                                • Figure 35: Time spent away for holiday/short breaks, by booking channel, 2010 and 2011
                                                                              • Spain in Europe, Egypt further afield
                                                                                • Figure 36: Countries visited on holiday/short break, by travel agent bookers, 2010 and 2011
                                                                              • Beach tops type
                                                                                • Figure 37: Type of holiday taken, by booking channel, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                • Figure 38: Activities done in holiday/short break, by travel agent bookers, 2010 and 2011
                                                                            • Market Share

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • TUI and Cook/Co-op to cut stores
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Leading travel agents, by number of retail outlets*, 2010
                                                                                • ABTA members drop…
                                                                                  • …but expansion plans for some…
                                                                                    • …while others rebrand/refocus
                                                                                    • Brand Research

                                                                                      • Brand map
                                                                                          • Figure 40: Attitudes towards and usage of travel agent brands, September 2011
                                                                                        • Correspondence analysis
                                                                                          • Brand attitudes
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes, by travel agent brand, September 2011
                                                                                          • Brand personality
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Travel agent brand personality – macro image, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Travel agent brand personality – micro image, September 2011
                                                                                          • Brand experience
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Travel agent brand usage, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 45: Satisfaction with various travel agent brands, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 46: Consideration of travel agent brands, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 47: Consumer perceptions of current travel agent brand performance, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 48: Travel agent brand recommendation – Net Promoter Score, September 2011
                                                                                          • Brand index
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Travel agent brand index, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Travel agent brand index vs. recommendation, September 2011
                                                                                          • Brand research target group analysis
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Brand research target groups, September 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 52: Travel agents brand usage, by brand research target groups, September 2011
                                                                                          • Group One – Conformists
                                                                                            • Group Two – Simply the Best
                                                                                              • Group Three – Shelf Stalkers
                                                                                                • Group Four – Habitual Shoppers
                                                                                                  • Group Five – Individualists
                                                                                                  • Companies and Products

                                                                                                      • Advantage Travel Centres
                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Key financials, Advantage Travel Centres, UK, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                      • Flight Centre
                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Key financials, Flight Centre, UK, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                      • STA Travel
                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Key financials, STA Travel Limited, UK, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                        • The Co-operative Travel
                                                                                                          • The Global Travel Group
                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Key financials, Global Travel Group Limited, UK, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                            • Thomas Cook
                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Key financials, Thomas Cook Group Plc – UK & Ireland, India and the Middle East segment, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                              • Travel Counsellors
                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Key financials, Travel Counsellors, UK, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                • TUI Travel UK
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Key financials, TUI Plc – UK & Ireland market, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                  • Worldchoice
                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Key financials, Worldchoice UK Ltd, 2009 and 2010
                                                                                                                  • Travel Agent Use

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • A quarter book at agents
                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Use of travel agents in past two years, 2008-11
                                                                                                                      • Package shift
                                                                                                                        • Non-core usage
                                                                                                                          • The bookers
                                                                                                                            • Flight-only function?
                                                                                                                            • Reasons for Use

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Time saving takes top spot
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Reasons for travel agent use, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                                • Other reasons remain constant
                                                                                                                                  • Young and old
                                                                                                                                    • ‘Gateways to the new’
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Reasons for travel agent use, by most popular use of travel agents in past two years, October 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Reasons for travel agent use, by next most popular use of travel agents in past two years, October 2011
                                                                                                                                  • What People Think of Travel Agents

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • One in four may use in future
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Attitudes towards travel agents, 2010 and 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Family fortunes
                                                                                                                                        • Online ease
                                                                                                                                          • Above and beyond
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes towards travel agents, by reasons for use, October 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Non-bookers most receptive to fees
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Attitudes towards travel agents, by most popular travel agent use, October 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Attitudes towards travel agents, by next most popular travel agent use, October 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Target groups
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Travel agents target groups, October 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Agent Advocates
                                                                                                                                              • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                  • Late Bookers
                                                                                                                                                    • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                      • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                        • Unsure on Agents
                                                                                                                                                          • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                            • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                              • Internet Enthusiasts
                                                                                                                                                                • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                  • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                    • Not Interested
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic profile
                                                                                                                                                                        • Marketing message
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Number of overseas holidays, market volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: Number of overseas holidays booked via travel agents, market volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: Number of domestic holidays booked via travel agents, market volume and forecast, best and worst case scenarios, 2011-16
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Brand Research

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Brand usage, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Brand commitment, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Brand momentum, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 76: Brand diversity, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Brand satisfaction, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 78: Brand recommendation, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Brand attitude, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Brand image – macro image, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Brand image – micro image, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Profile of brand research target groups, by demographics, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 83: Psychographic segmentation, by brand research target group, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 84: Brand usage, by brand research target group, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brand index
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Brand index, September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Travel Agent Use

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Most popular travel agent use, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: Next most popular travel agent use, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Other travel agent use, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Reasons for Use

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Reasons for travel agent use, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – What People Think of Travel Agents

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Most popular attitudes towards travel agents, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Next most popular attitudes towards travel agents, by demographics, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Attitudes towards travel agents, by target groups, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Travel agent use, by target groups, October 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Target groups, by demographics, June 2011

                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                        • Advantage Travel Centres
                                                                                                                                                                        • Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Airtours Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)
                                                                                                                                                                        • Civil Aviation Authority
                                                                                                                                                                        • First Choice Holidays & Flights Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Flight Centre (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Galileo International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Global Travel Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                        • Kuoni Travel Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Neilson Active Holidays Limited
                                                                                                                                                                        • Sentido Hotels & Resorts
                                                                                                                                                                        • STA Travel
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Freedom Travel Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomas Cook Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                        • Thomson Holidays
                                                                                                                                                                        • Travel Trust Association
                                                                                                                                                                        • Travelport
                                                                                                                                                                        • TUI Travel PLC
                                                                                                                                                                        • VisitBritain
                                                                                                                                                                        • Worldchoice Travel
                                                                                                                                                                        • Worldspan Technologies Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                        Travel Agents - UK - December 2011

                                                                                                                                                                        £1,750.00 (Excl.Tax)