Good News from Visit England

2 November 2009

The great English holiday is back with 40% more holidays taken in July

The great English summer holiday continued its 2009 renaissance in July, with the number of holiday trips taken by UK residents to England up by an impressive 40%; amounting to almost 2 million more holiday trips and 7.2 million extra nights holiday taken, compared with July 2008. The UK wide results were also extremely positive with trips taken by Brits in the whole of the UK up by 32%, amounting to 2.1 million more leisure holiday trips, compared with July of 2008.

These figures highlight the excellent performance of English holidays over the first seven months of this year and during the first month of the summer holidays, with the number of holiday trips to England up by 20% compared with January to July in 2008. 

In the year since January, the number of overall trips taken (including visiting friends and family and business travel, as well as holidays) in the UK rose by 4%, while the number of overall trips taken in England rose by 5%. The total amount spent on all overnight travel since January has seen an increase by 1% throughout the UK, with overall spend in England rising by 2%. Overall growth has not been as strong as holiday growth alone however, as business travel remains a sector that continues to suffer as businesses cut costs in the current economic climate.

Despite the Met office’s dismal weather prediction and the wettest July since 1914, UK residents shunned outbound travel – which dropped by 17% for the year to the end of July – in favour of England’s diverse holiday offer. This trend reflects recent VisitEngland research which showed that less than 1 in 10 people changed their holiday plans following the Met Office’s revised weather forecast.

Forward bookings for England holidays in 2010 and 2011 are up across many sectors of the travel industry – an indication that weather this July did not seem to deter the Brits who holidayed at home this year as, clearly, they enjoyed their breaks enough to start booking ahead for next year.

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, is thrilled with the positive July results but remains prudently optimistic on the future of English tourism.

“The results released today are further proof that the great visitor product on offer in England is back on everyone’s lips, on their mind and here to stay, with Brits embracing the dynamic and diverse holiday offer here at home. We intend to work with the whole of the English tourism industry to ensure this trend is sustainable through 2010 and beyond.”

“We are seeing people shun outbound travel and opting to take a break in England as they re-discover what there is on offer in this country, whether it be a relaxing long weekend in the countryside, an action-packed activity holiday for the family or a stimulating city break. 

England is not only back in fashion, but is clearly a place that Brits wish to rediscover time and time again as the holiday offer diversifies, grows and never fails to impress.”

“There are still a number of businesses suffering, specifically those in the business travel market, however as an industry we are now working on forward planning and development to ensure that when the economic circumstances and exchange rates change, we have a proficient strategy in place to ensure that England destinations continue to draw both new and repeat visitors” said James Berresford

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

Stephanie Boyle – 020 7578 1446

Meera Shah – 0207 578 1452

Full details of the UKTS survey results are available online –

VisitEngland Corporate

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 and

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