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Leading customer insight specialist The Listening Company has undertaken a major research study into the travel industry, in order to reveal the nation’s perfect holiday and the booking habits and preferences of UK consumers in 2007.

The results show that a holiday to Canada booked through Saga with a flight operated by Emirates would be a trip made in heaven. A journey made in hell on the other hand would be to book an Air France flight to Bulgaria on lastminute.com.

Working in conjunction with Alain Samson, a market researcher based at The London School of Economics, The Listening Company surveyed 8,000 British adults aged 18-65 using the Net Promoter Score system. This is a customer satisfaction survey in which customers are asked only one so-called "Ultimate" question: How likely are you to recommend Company or Product X to a friend or colleague?

With this in mind, respondents were asked which travel agencies, carriers and holiday destinations they would actively recommend. At the same time, respondents were asked how they chose to book their holidays; whether online, over the telephone or in person, as The Listening Company wanted to see if this affected people’s likelihood to make a recommendation.

The top five holiday destinations in terms of recommendations were:

1. Canada
2. Australia
3. Switzerland
4. Austria
5. South Africa

The top five travel agents in terms of recommendations were:

1. Saga
2. Dawson & Sanderson
3. Traifinders
4. Monarch
5. Travelcare

The top five carriers in terms of recommendations were:

1. Emirates
2. P & 0
3. Virgin
4. Flybe
5. Eurostar

When it comes to booking their holidays, only 40% of people completed their travel bookings over the internet whereas 60% were still made either over the telephone or in person in a travel agency; showing that people still prefer to book their holidays with other human beings. Interestingly, people were more likely to make recommendations to friends and colleagues if their holiday was booked over the telephone, with travel agencies coming second and recommendations for bookings made over the internet a distant third.

Neville Upton, CEO at The Listening Company comments:

“Positive word of mouth amongst consumers is an essential factor in driving company growth and even a 1% reduction in negative word of mouth would lead to millions of additional revenue. We wanted to see how this premise translated to the travel industry but moreover try and understand how people are booking their holidays in 2007.

Our results show that firstly positive word of mouth advocacy builds customer loyalty in the travel industry. Perhaps even more importantly however, the majority of people still do very much value speaking to another human being when making a booking, even at an additional cost. With this in mind, rather than getting a discount for buying on the net perhaps customers should get a discount for buying over the phone?”

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About The Listening Company

Established in 1998, The Listening Company is the UK’s leading customer insight specialist.

As well as offering outsourced and insourced call centre services, The Listening Company provides professional advice and consultancy across all customer management requirements.

The Listening Company employs over 1500 people across three sites, with its Head Office located at Richmond in Surrey.

Current clients include Volkswagen, AOL, Microsoft, BUPA, Rank and Sky.

For more information:

Please call Daniel Batchelor or Kate Moloughney at Limelight PR for press info: 0207 821 9210 – daniel@limelightpr.co.uk / kate@limelightpr.co.uk

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Limelight PR UK in the following categories: Leisure & Hobbies, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.