Appetite for overseas holidays falls amid consumer protection concerns

Consumer appetite for overseas holidays has fallen over the past 12 months, a new study has found.

Foreign currency supplier First Rate found that just 53% of people intend to travel abroad in the coming year, down two percentage points on winter 2015.

People aged 25-34 are most likely to take a foreign trip.

Some 56% of that age group are planning a break over the 12 next months, compared with 51% of those aged 55 and over - the age range least likely to do so. 

Caution about travelling abroad is reflected in a hardening of opinions about holiday protection.

The number of holidaymakers who rate the UK Government-backed Atol scheme as a priority rose from 71% to 75% over the past year.

In July, budget operator Low Cost Holidays went bust and was not registered with Atol, meaning thousands of customers could receive just a few pounds in compensation rather than a full refund.

The study also found that more than half (51%) of people planning trips abroad are less likely to travel to destinations affected by health scares such as the Zika virus. 

Liam Hodge, First Rate's head of insight, said: There is a hardcore of people - over half the population according to our research - who are firm in their resolve to take overseas holidays."

The holiday confidence index was based on a survey of 5,067 consumers.

The report was published on the eve of travel trade exhibition World Travel Market,  which is being held at the ExCeL convention centre in east London next week.

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