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Great English Holiday - in 2010

Tuesday, 10th November 2009

Three quarters of adults say they are likely to take a break in England in 2010

VisitEngland today exclusively releases new research on holiday booking patterns that reveals almost three quarters of adults (72%) say they are likely* to take a break in England in 2010, making England the holiday destination of choice.

Encouragingly, 95% of those who took a break in England this year say they are likely to return next year**, confirming England’s position at the top of the holiday hotlist. While many 2009 visitors (80%) visited in 2008, 1 in 5 returned after at least a year’s gap, attracted back by England’s diverse holiday offer.

This latest research suggests the return to ‘the great English holiday’ is no flash in the pan, but a result of holiday attitudes shifting as UK residents shun outbound travel for the variety on offer on home soil, a fact further supported by the July 2009 results from the UK Tourism Survey (UKTS), which revealed that the number of holiday trips taken by UK residents within England were up by an impressive 40% in comparison to July 2008; amounting to almost 2 million more holiday trips taken. Factors including the recession and unfavourable exchange rates overseas as well as new accommodation options and attractions in England have fuelled this increase in domestic holiday-makers, who in turn are rediscovering England at its very best, encouraging them to rebook a break for 2010.

To support and entice the growing number of holiday-makers, England has an array of exciting new highlights on offer, beginning with the cinematic release of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. Hitting the big screen in May, the highly anticipated film starring Russell Crowe will be celebrated by a string of events in Nottinghamshire. The film was partly shot in the Surrey’s atmospheric Bourne Wood, a stunning backdrop that will also appear in the upcoming “The Wolfman” and that also starred in the recent Harry Potter film, surely at the top of film enthusiasts’ must-see lists! Musically speaking, London’s West End sees the advent of film favourites’ “Legally Blonde – The Musical” this December and “Ghost” next year.

In time for Easter’s school holidays, kids will be able to enjoy the UK’s first LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, set to open in Manchester, offering a fun, interactive and educational indoor Lego themed experience. Meanwhile March sees the opening of ‘FlowRider’ at Bodyflight in Bedfordshire, which will provide adventure-loving landlocked surfing fans with the chance to experience surfing without making a trip to the coast!

Further a field, the resurgence of regeneration of seaside towns which began in 2009 looks set to continue well into next year with projects including the Boscombe Beach artificial surf reef in Bournemouth and the Luxury Beach Huts at Whitley Bay in the North East, both sure to lure an abundance of holidaymakers.

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland commented, “It is fantastic to be representing VisitEngland for the first time here at the World Travel Market as the official authority for tourism for England. It is a great opportunity to communicate and demonstrate the variety of reasons that makes England the all encompassing holiday destination. The research released today further confirms and highlights that the great England holiday is here to stay. I’m delighted that so many people have been enjoying holidaying in England and also that so many are intending to take an England break next year. There are a spectacular variety of places to discover which makes England an ideal place for a short break to unwind, have an adventure or take a family holiday. Once you’ve Enjoyed England, you’ll want to do it again and again.”

- ENDS -

For more information, high resolution images and interview requests please contact:

Stephanie Boyle – 020 7578 1446

Meera Shah – 0207 578 1452

About the research

• Results from TNS Online Omnibus of 1012 adults 16 – 65, interviewed from 29 October – 2 November 2009

• * 72% said they were very or quite likely to take a short break or longer holiday in England next year

• ** 95% of 2009’s visitors to England said they were very or quite likely to to take an England break in 2010

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