Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Staycation boom - fact or myth

Staycations - how to separate reality from myth? Do the Brits really holiday at home instead of abroad when economic times are tough?
I've always been sceptical. It seemed a bit too pat - a trend seized on by media colleagues because the logic appeared irrestisible.
But I've been looking at the stats and I remain far from convinced. In 2009 to be sure, when the world was reeling from the shock of the banking crisis, UK domestic tourism rose significantly. But last year's figures for the 12 months to October paint a radically different picture, with holiday trips in the UK down by 4% according the VisitBritain, which observed that 2009 mights have represented a "high water mark".
Now up pops Travelodge with a survey suggesting the proportion of Britons taking one week holidays will be up by 10 percentage points this summer. It doesn't look very likely to me. Nor does the survey's assessment of the average cost of a holiday here (£422.69) against a week abroad (£1427.58).
One finding in the survey does ring true though: a high proportion of Brits is waiting until the last minute before booking anything. Bit of a cat and mouse game. Don't gamble unless it's really no odds whether you get a holiday or take some time off without travelling.

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