News Copy – by Richard Jenkins

Kind-hearted Brits who take on the role of travel agent for mates’ breaks and holidays are losing out on around £197m a year due to last minute cancellations, it has emerged.

Research revealed nine in 10 adults admit they always rely on one person to organise group events like away day football matches, stag or hen trips and birthday parties.

But those who vow to turn up – but don’t – leave organisers of the so-called ‘obli-cations’ massively out of pocket.

To offer a helping hand, hotel brand Hampton by Hilton has created ‘The Hampton Helpline’, a 24/7 phoneline which will be live throughout the summer.

Hosted by television presenter and self-confessed organiser, Andrea McLean, the line will be live to offer advice, words of wisdom and calming meditation techniques to make organising ‘obli-cations’ as straightforward as possible.

Andrea McLean said: “I just can’t help myself when it comes to taking on the task of planning our family’s trips to weddings, birthdays, anniversaries – the list goes on.

“From sorting the travel and deciding where to stay, to arranging the itinerary – I love making sure everyone’s having a great time.”

The study also found one third of those who take on the role of organiser claim to enjoy it, while 38 per cent think if they didn’t do it, nobody else would.

Topping the list of worries that come with the role, however, is the responsibility of keeping everyone happy (38 per cent), followed by last minute cancellation from a member of the group (34 per cent).

Other difficulties include finding a trip that works for all budgets, and a third grow frustrated having to chase people for money.

However, eight in 10 organisers feel appreciated for their efforts – they like the feeling of being relied upon and the satisfaction that comes with creating a moment their family and friends will remember.

The survey, of 2,000 16-55+ year-olds in the UK, also found that Brits feel ‘obliged’ to attend 14 events each year.

And collectively, the adult population spends a whopping £35.6million and two million days annually travelling to and attending these so-called ‘obli-cations’, outside of their hometown.

Andrea McLean added: ‘“As much as I wouldn’t have it any other way, I could often do with a helping hand.

”So I am delighted to be working with Hampton by Hilton to launch this Helpline, which offers planners like me helpful advice and tips to make life easier and ensure everyone is happy.”

Tal Shefer, regional brand head of Hampton by Hilton EMEA, said: “Whether it’s travelling to visit family or going to a distant cousin’s wedding, Real Travel is something we all need to do.

”However, these trips can often provide the backdrop to memorable moments with the most special people in our lives.”

“With our research revealing that attending these obli-cations takes up 21 days of people’s time a year on average – including 10 annual leave days – we are encouraging guests to make the most of their time away and enjoy everything on offer.

”At Hampton by Hilton, we understand that not every trip is as exciting as a beautiful beach holiday or climbing the Andes.”

To access advice from the Hampton Helpline, call 0800 689 1914 or email



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