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Fewer holidays taken by Britons

Britons took fewer holidays this year - but young people bucked the trend by taking an increasing number of breaks.

On average, Britons took 3.5 holidays in the 12 months to September 2012, compared with 3.82 in the 12 months to September 2011.

But the number of breaks taken by those aged 15-24 rose from 3.7 in 2011 to 4.7 in 2012, according to a survey of 2,008 adults by travel organisation Abta.

The overall split of holidays taken in 2012 showed 2.11 were taken in the UK and 1.4 overseas. Although lower than last year, the figure of 3.5 breaks on average was a rise on the 3.2 figure for 2010.

Released at the Abta convention in Antalya, Turkey, the survey also showed that those aged 15-34 were the most likely to take shorter trips abroad of one to three nights, or four to six nights.

While 3% of all holidaymakers went on a stag or hen party in 2012, the figure for 15 to 24-year-olds was 7%.

This year, 48% of holidaymakers booked an overseas package compared with 42% in 2011 and only 37% in 2010. Among 35 to 44-year-olds, 51% booked a package in the 12 months to September 2012 compared with only 36% in 2011.

Safe and secure accommodation was the top priority for the holidaymakers surveyed, with financial protection second.

It appears the Olympics had little impact on booking habits, with only 4% changing the time they booked a trip due to the Games.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "The younger generation are clearly determined to make the most of their freedom and opportunities for travel whatever the economic climate. The research suggests they like to go away frequently and for shorter amounts of time than older age groups, which represents a great opportunity for travel companies to tap into this trend."

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