VisitEngland’s Easter Trip-Tracker survey, published this week, shows that 7.4 million Brits are definitely planning an overnight holiday trip in the UK for the Easter weekend, bringing an estimated £1.8 billion boost to the economy.
This is on par with the pre-COVID Trip-Tracker figures for Easter 2019, which were the highest since this survey began and a significant increase on 2018 when 4.8 million Brits were planning an overnight holiday trip for the long weekend. In 2017, the figure was 6.6 million.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland Deputy Chief Executive Patricia Yates said: “It is great to see so many people are planning a holiday at home for the Easter weekend, getting out and exploring the outstanding accommodation, events and attractions here on our doorstep whether enjoying a trip to the seaside, countryside or on a city break.
“This is the first Easter since 2019, pre-pandemic, that the industry has been able to fully trade and the long weekend will be critical in providing businesses and destinations with much needed cash-flow as the season gets underway. Our tourism businesses will be very pleased to welcome you back.”
Of those definitely planning an overnight trip in England during Easter, the majority were planning a short-break of one-to-three nights.
The survey also showed that a further 3.4 million people were undecided about whether to take an overnight holiday trip in the UK during the Easter weekend. The top reasons were ‘waiting to see if I can afford it’ followed by ‘waiting to see what the weather is like’ and ‘not sure where I’d like to go.’
Looking at day-trips in England, almost of a quarter of those surveyed were definitely planning one during the Easter weekend.
VisitEngland ramped up its domestic marketing last month, launching the next phase of its ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, to encourage short-breaks to English cities this spring and early summer. The £1 million campaign has been putting the spotlight on the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across England’s cities, which have been hit hard by the slower return of international visitors and their spending.
VisitEngland has also this week announced the successful recipients of its Destination Management Organisation Marketing Recovery Fund to support tourism’s recovery in England. Running from mid-March to the end of June, the £1 million fund enables DMOs to tailor and align VisitEngland’s national ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign to drive bookings of local tourism products.
The latest wave of the agency’s domestic consumer sentiment research towards travel, published on 15 March 2022, shows increasing confidence levels in the ability to take a domestic overnight trip, highlighting the importance of extending the tourism season. More than 70% of those surveyed were confident in the ability to take a UK overnight trip in April to June, and almost a third intend to take more UK breaks this year than last.
VisitBritain has estimated the loss to the economy in domestic tourism spending in Britain, in 2020 and 2021 combined, to be more than £97 billion.