Staycation was reality

14 December 2009

Press Release from VisitEngland

STAYCATION PHENOMENON A PROVEN REALITY WITH 18.5M HOLIDAYS TAKEN IN ENGLAND THIS SUMMER

Monday 14th December 2009 – New figures released today by VisitEngland from the UK Tourism Survey show that the staycation phenomenon was a reality with the number of holiday trips taken by Britons within England between June and August up by 22%, and the amount spent increased by 20%, compared with the same period in 2008.

The great English holiday enjoyed a revival this summer, countering fears voiced earlier this year that “staying at home” meant just that. James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, confirmed, “These latest statistics prove that the staycation has reigned over the course of 2009, especially gripping the nation most evidently over the summer months. With people tightening their belts and forgoing overseas travel for a break at home, the staycation stopped being about ‘staying in your house and your own garden’ and became all about getting out there and enjoying the best of England, from exploring new towns and cities, camping, visiting attractions and enjoying a variety of activities.”

Staycation summer 2009 saw the emergence of a number of holiday trends, including a significant rise in people taking seaside holidays. Despite the changeable weather, the number of trips to the English seaside rose by 24% during June, July and August of this year. Meanwhile, a rise in family holidays was also observed, with a 33% increase in trips made by households with children. Self-catering holidays showed a marked gain in the popularity stakes between June and August with a 25% increase on previous year in the number trips involving self-catering accommodation. Within this sector, camping and caravanning trips saw a rise of 21%.

The staycation also paved the way for the “daycation”, with Britons venturing out and about enjoying the plethora of attractions and day trip destinations on offer within England, a trend proven by the performance of the Visitor Attraction sector, which has recorded on average a 5% increase in visitor numbers over the July to September period. Three quarters of the attractions surveyed by VisitEngland said they had seen more visitors in this timeframe this year, compared to the same period last year.

VisitEngland focus group research undertaken earlier this summer revealed that although cost remained a dominant factor in choosing their destination, a ‘lost generation’ of young people confessed to feeling almost embarrassed at the lack of knowledge of their own country, encouraging them to rediscover a variety of gems across England. Additionally, people cited the media as an important influence and the widespread media coverage of the staycation trend made people want to try it out for themselves. Giving people the chance to explore England without

breaking the bank, VisitEngland’s website enjoyengland.com has been providing Britons with a huge variety of imaginative, exciting yet cost effective ideas in which to enjoy England all year long.

“There has been much speculation in the media that the staycation is a manufactured story by British travel companies, however VisitEngland have the facts and figures to verify its existence this summer. Holidaying Brits favoured England this year, learning that it’s possible to save money whilst still enjoying a great summer holiday – England has all the right ingredients.” said James Berresford.

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