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Pride in England as holiday destination

Friday, 14th May 2010

VISITENGLAND RESEARCH SHOWS STAYCATION HERE TO STAY

Today, VisitEngland announces findings from the first significant research into the staycation phenomenon by the national tourist board.  Tourism statistics indicate that in 2009, England enjoyed an 18 per cent increase in the number of holiday trips taken with holiday makers spending £1bn more than in the previous year.  The research discovered that the uplift in tourism last year has helped awaken a latent pride in England as a holiday destination, and as a result, in the longer term, almost half the population expect to take more domestic breaks then than they did in the past.

The research identified two groups who changed their behaviour in 2009 to generate the uplift in domestic holidays.  Together, these two groups, the ‘Staycationers’, account for one in four of the population.  One  group  ‘Switchers’ accounted for 13 per cent of respondents and included  a high proportion of families.  This group was primarily motivated to ‘switch’ a foreign holiday for one at home because of financial constraints.

The second group, ‘Extras’, accounted for 15 per cent of respondents and tended to be younger, and were more likely to be single.  This group was less affected by the credit crunch and their economic situation and was more motivated by a desire to explore the UK and go somewhere new.  In addition to more domestic breaks they also took more overseas breaks.

The quality of experience has certainly led those who took a holiday at home last year to consider including England as part of their holiday mix this year. 86 per cent of Staycationers (those groups that the research identified as responsible for the uplift) described their holiday experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, and 80 per cent described their break as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ value.  Over half said their holiday was better value than the overseas holiday it replaced.

 Findings from this research show that 90 per cent of Staycationers expect to take at least one break in England this year.  Some people will choose to travel abroad again when they can afford it, but with half the population expecting that they will take more domestic breaks even beyond 2010, the year of the staycation seems likely to have a longer term impact for English Tourism.

James Berresford Chief Executive VisitEngland said:  These findings prove that England’s new found popularity as a holiday destination is not merely a flash in the pan.  Of course, circumstances last year certainly encouraged more Brits to take a break at home, however this research shows that there is a more permanent shift in attitudes to holidaying at home.   It’s a hugely rewarding experience to rediscover your own country and it’s clear that once you do, you want to do it again and again.’

He goes on to say:  ‘England is a wonderful destination.  We have some of the world’s best countryside, coast line, cities, festivals and people – literally on our doorstep!  With so much on offer to see and do I’m not surprised England is becoming more and more popular with Brits as a top class holiday destination.’

The research was carried out over two stages.  In an initial quantitative stage ,1000 adults aged 18+ were interviewed about their attitudes to the credit crunch, their holiday behaviour in 2009 and their plans for 2010.  A qualitative stage followed with 8 group discussions in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds among respondents with a variety of opinions towards domestic breaks.

For more information contact:

Sarah Long, Strategic Communications Manager Tel: 020 7 578 1452, Mob: 07500555651, Email: sarah.long@visitengland.org  www.visitengland.com/corporate

Notes to Editors

·  The full report can be found on http://www.enjoyengland.com/corporate/corporate-information/research-and-insights/market-research/Staycation.aspx

About VisitEngland

  • In response to a clear call from industry arising from the 2008 British Tourism Framework Review, VisitEngland has been created as the strategic leadership body representing the public and private sector stakeholders of English Tourism.  It works in partnership with VisitBritain, the RDAs and local authorities, and the private sector, creating a national tourism strategy, optimising marketing investment, and developing the visitor experience across England 
  • VisitEngland continues to use its Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand in international markets 
  • More information can be found on www.enjoyengland.com and www.visitengland.com/corporate

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