British travellers made 7% more bookings for trips in the UK than in 2010
An Expedia survey found Spain and Turkey gained more UK visitors, but fewer went to some north African countries, Bookings for Thailand were down, due to the floods. Expedia forecast that British destinations would again prove popular in 2012. The south of England and London were the most popular choices within the UK. The Bank of England says the reduction in Brits’ spending on holidays abroad, spending more in the UK, has boosted the UK economy.
More Britons take holidays in UK
Britons booked an increasing number of holidays in their own country in 2011, it has been revealed.
Spain and Turkey also gained more UK visitors as tourists turned away from some North African countries, a survey by travel company Expedia.co.uk found.
British travellers made 7% more bookings for trips in the UK than in 2010. The most popular spot for travellers was southern England, followed by London.
The survey of booking patterns also showed that hotel bookings for the Greek islands, Madeira and the Algarve, as well as Kenya and European destinations such as Sofia in Bulgaria and Tallinn in Estonia, had growth of 25% this year.
Expedia also reported that Britons had been adaptable in their travel plans to accommodate world events.
For example, UK travellers had altered their Thailand itineraries to avoid the severe flooding there this autumn.
Also, British bookings to Japan had picked up again following the devastating earthquake there in March.
Expedia forecast that British destinations would again prove popular in 2012, with London hosting the Olympics and the attraction of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Expedia UK and Ireland managing director Andy Washington said: “2011 has highlighted the mixed approach to holidaying taken by Brits in troubled times. As some are drawn to holidaying at home, others simply look for alternative destinations – with Spain and Turkey particularly growing in popularity during the Arab Spring.
“The other notable trend was deal hunting – with savvy travellers taking advantage of the great deals to be had in destinations like Egypt and Japan as they start to recover. Yet what’s absolutely clear is our determination to keep our holidays.”
29 December 2011 (Travel Mole)
UK comes top as travellers holiday at home
……….. (extract below)
In a bid to avoid disruption overseas and increasing flight taxes such as Air Passenger Duty, [that is barely credible – it only costs £12 per person for a trip within Europe] the UK became the most popular option, claims the travel website
The southern regions of the UK and London came first and second in the top ten holiday destinations for 2011.
New York was next followed by Paris, Las Vegas, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, northern France and Edinburgh in the 10th spot.
By Diane Evans
‘Staycations’ and weak pound have boosted British trade, says Bank of England
The weak pound has boosted Britain’s trade position, helped by Britons taking fewer holidays abroad, according to the Bank of England.
The Bank said in its Quarterly Bulletin that sterling’s 25pc fall against a basket of currencies between mid-2007 and early 2009 had encouraged a shift towards exports and away from imports, contributing to a “significant narrowing” in the UK’s trade deficit.
“By making UK exports more competitive and imports into the United Kingdom less affordable, weaker sterling should boost export volumes and reduce import volumes,” the Bank said.
“Such an increase in net trade would boost UK gross domestic product.”
However, net trade remained in deficit, despite UK exports now being 15pc cheaper than their competitors’, compared with before the depreciation.
Between the second quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2011 the net trade deficit roughly halved to 1.6pc from 3pc of gross domestic product, according to the Bulletin.
Since the large depreciation, sterling has been broadly flat, the Bank said, adding that the future rate of sterling, as well as developments in the rest of the world, would be “crucial” to the UK’s trade performance and therefore growth. One pound is currently worth about $1.55 or €1.19.
The Bank said that British tourists had spent less overseas since 2007 because of the sharp fall in their purchasing power, boosting net trade. “As a result, they may have chosen to spend more on domestic tourism, or taken fewer holidays overall — the ‘staycation’ effect,” it said.
Britain’s official independent economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, estimates net trade will have grown 1.2pc this year, and forecasts a 0.3pc rise next year, despite weakness in the eurozone, Britain’s biggest trading partner. It fell 0.8pc in 2010.
Since the onset of the financial crisis, there has been much debate, both at domestic and international level, on the need for a rebalancing of the global economy.
UK policymakers have said that in the run-up to the crisis, growth was too dependent on consumer and public sector spending. They argue the need for more growth to be driven by Britain’s trade position.
Debt-conscious’ Brits holidaying at home
By Daniel Culpan ( Think Money)
Of those people who have decided to holiday abroad, 71% are choosing to stay in more affordable accommodation to reduce spending, while 60% are reining in the amount spent on eating out and other expenses while on holiday.
However, the research also revealed that, of those going on holiday this year, 1.8 million will be borrowing to cover the costs – borrowing an average of £1,581. This marks an increase from £1,130 in 2010, and will take an average of nine months to repay – which could increase the risk of borrowers falling into debt problems.
Yet some Britons are being cautious – with 30% deciding not to go on holiday at all this year, showing an increase from 25% last year.
R3 President, Frances Coulson, commented: “It’s unsurprising that people are choosing to stay at home instead of holidaying abroad to cut down on their expenditure, given that we have seen consumers’ disposable income become squeezed as a result of inflationary pressures.”