A NEW travel trends online poll from the Malvern Group suggests consumers are keener than ever to book all travel elements in one place, including rail/bus travel, meals and excursions.

The findings come as good news for domestic travel with UK-based packages the most popular among British customers (69%), followed by short foreign trips ranging from four to seven nights (58%).

Concerns over exchange rates and Brexit have inspired travellers to trust in the packaging market thanks to ‘locked in’ pricing and industry protection. Among the 2000 consumers polled 47% have either booked or plan to book a package holiday in 2019 based on the advantage of financial protection (such as ATOL security) and the ease of booking everything in one place (also 47%) as their main reasons for opting for a package holiday.

The online survey showed that the days of standard accommodation and flights package bundles appear to be on the decline. Consumers now want a broader choice of options and experiences under one booking facility.

While two thirds of consumers still opt for the ‘classic travel bundle’ of accommodation (67%) and flights (65%), over a third (36%) of respondents expressed a demand for bus travel (from airport, around destination) to also be included in packaging a trip, closely followed by train travel (32%).

The survey also found a clear appetite for modern packaging to include the booking of experiences and activities too, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) also expressing a wish for restaurant bookings to be included in their bundles. 

Almost a fifth (17%) said they’d like museums/attractions options and 10% said they would like theatre/shows tickets to be included in their booking. This reflects recent findings by AITO’s 2018 annual survey that ‘culture, arts and history trips’ are now the number one travel experience sector for UK consumers. 

Technology is spearheading travel bookings with 63% using digital platforms – PC/laptop (39%), smart phones (12%) and tablets (12%) – to book breaks, as compared to just 6% of those surveyed who book in-store via a travel agent. 

Malvern Travel Technology’s trip planning platform is embracing these packaging and booking trends with user-friendly travel tech that delivers limitless experiences and memories.

We have been able to harness the latest technology into a platform that supports customers’ ability to integrate all their requirements in one place. 

Hugo Kimber, Malvern Group’s Executive Chairman said: “This new survey supports our own research that customers are looking for more choice and in one place. Designing packages that meet the call for more variety and options is at the forefront of Malvern Travel Technology. It’s largely why and how our ground breaking trip planning platform was developed. 

He added: “We are delighted the platform is being showcased and embraced by major travel industry brands. The response has been tremendous. Trusted household names have recognised the innovative approach of this white label provision which offers suppliers expansion and customers even more flexibility, choice and value.”