UNITED KINGDOM - VisitEngland released figures revealing that the number of domestic overnight holiday trips taken in England in August rose by 13 per cent compared to 2011, with just under 8 million trips taken in the month. The latest results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey also show that holiday spend totalled almost £2billion during August – an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period last year. Considering the whole of Great Britain, domestic holiday trips were up 11 per cent in August and spend increased by 12 per cent.
Considering this summer as a whole (June, July and August), the total number of holiday trips taken in England was the same as 2011 (17.8 million), whereas total holiday spend was up 7 per cent (£4.5billion). The growth in August may have been caused in part by domestic holidaymakers delaying their holiday trips following poor weather in June and July.
For the year to date, domestic holiday trip taking in England this year is down 2.5 per cent compared to the first 8 months of 2011; however, holiday spend for the same period is up 4 per cent, and both volume and value remain above pre-recession levels.
The national tourist board also published results of its latest Tourism Business Monitor, which reveal that both accommodation businesses and Visitor Attractions are turning a corner after a challenging summer. Attractions in particular have shown improvement since the low in July, with 81 per cent ‘very’ or ‘quite’ satisfied with performance in September and October.
Confidence is mixed for the end of 2012 and beyond, with 73 per cent of accommodation businesses and 85 per cent of attractions feeling very or fairly confident about the rest of the year. Looking forward to 2013, over half of businesses expect performance to be better than in 2012.
VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, James Berresford, commented: “After a difficult early start to the summer, it is encouraging to see that domestic overnight trips were up in August. We know that the exciting events of 2012 have created a swell of national pride, with 20 per cent of Brits saying these events have made them more likely to take holidays in England in the future. VisitEngland is working with the industry on a raft of marketing campaigns and promotions to drive growth in 2013.”
Mr Berresford continued: “In the wake of recent statistics showing that a third of new jobs created in Britain between 2009 and 2011 were in tourism*, it’s important to remember that tourism in England is a powerful industry; one which still has the potential to grow and stimulate yet more employment.”