Internet scams turn British travelers to trustworthy travel agents
In a recent survey*, 93% of UK consumers reported that they plan to go on holiday in the next 12 months. But what do the British public consider during the holiday decision-making process? This survey revealed that trust is the most important factor for UK consumers when booking their holiday, and that first-hand knowledge of destination and accommodation is the most important source of information when making such decisions.
Most recently BBC’s ‘Rip Off Britain’ uncovered some serious pitfalls to booking holidays online. The programme shared the stories of distraught people who had lost thousands of pounds by falling victim to a number of scams, highlighting the importance of booking with a trusted travel provider. Growing concerns over the trustworthiness of online sites may have resulted in a shift in the decision-making process: 60% of holiday-makers surveyed ranked ‘booking with someone they can trust’ as the single most important factor, and only 4% ranked ‘getting the cheapest price’ as most important when making travel plans.
A further 24% of those surveyed, placed the most value on having a holiday tailor-made for them according to their specific wants and needs. In addition, having 24/7 assistance was considered most important by 7%, closely followed by being financially protected (6%).
Steve Byrne, Managing Director of Travel Counsellors, said: “It’s clear that people are now placing ‘trust’ at the centre of the booking process over anything else. Customers need to know what is right for them; where is safe to travel; and be reassured that someone who genuinely cares will be there for them every step of the way. Travellers also want a holiday that is catered to their specific needs and requirements – it’s no longer a case of ‘one size fits all’. It’s not all about price anymore – people are placing much greater value on the service they receive and the peace of mind they have when booking with someone they can trust.”
Reliability of online reviews
Recent media coverage of fake reviews have fuelled concerns over the reliability of online review sites in the travel industry. Perhaps not surprisingly then, only 23% of people surveyed ranked online ratings and reviews of destinations and hotels as the most important type of feedback. Instead, 71% value first-hand knowledge from a real travel agent most highly when researching their holiday options.
Steve adds: “The findings of the survey really highlight travellers’ needs for genuine care, trust, support and peace of mind when booking their holiday, which are all the things our Travel Counsellors do best. Our customers are completely protected financially no matter what and they have our 24/7 duty office supporting them whenever they need it. They also know they are being provided with the very best first-hand knowledge and advice. That’s why a world-leading 96% of our customers would recommend us”.
The survey was completed by 335 UK consumers in January 2016
About Travel Counsellors
Travel Counsellors is a leading independent travel company delivering a personal, bespoke travel service since 1994. It has the highest Customer Satisfaction score of any travel company in the world (NPS), posting a turnover of £416 million (Oct 31 2014). Travel Counsellors has over 1,400 travel franchisees, supported by more than 250 staff across its UK headquarters in Venus, Trafford City, and 6 overseas offices (Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, and Dubai). Winners of the Queen’s Award for International Trade (2014), Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2003-2008), Guardian Travel Agent of the Year (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010). Listed in Sunday Times International Fast Track for International Growth (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015), Sunday Times Profit Track 100 (2012, 2013, 2014), Telegraph’s Britain’s 1000 Brightest Businesses, and finalists at the British Travel Awards winning Bronze for Best Travel Retailer for Customer Service and Silver for Best National Travel Retailer (2015).