Results, released from VisitEngland’s Business Confidence Monitor for accommodation businesses, indicate that interest in holidaying at home continues for the British public, and finds the majority of operators happy with how the summer months have gone.
The findings provide a broadly positive picture for the industry in which 87 per cent of accommodation providers expressed satisfaction with the summer months, from June to August. 76 per cent of operators said that business had either increased (38 per cent) or stayed the same (38 per cent) compared to the same period in 2009 which was a record year for leisure tourism in England.
Reflecting trends seen throughout the year, performance varied by sector with 51 per cent of hotels and 42 per cent of camping and caravanning businesses reporting increased guest numbers. Guesthhouses / B&Bs and self-catering performed less well but nonetheless, almost one in three reported increased visitor numbers. Operators were asked if they used special offers or price discounting to attract more visitors this year. Only, 13 per cent said they discounted extensively this year, a further one in three discounted to some degree, and over half said they hadn’t used this strategy at all. Discounting was most commonly found in the hotel sector.
The growing trend to holiday at home is further backed up by 40 per cent of businesses claiming to have more repeat visitors than last year. One in three businesses also reported an increase in overseas visitors and nearly half reported the same levels as last year.
VisitEngland’s figures correspond with the recently released International Passenger Survey figures which show that outbound travel by Brits over the summer months (May – July) is down 4 per cent compared to the same period in 2009, and down 18 per cent compared to 2008. Inbound visits including Visiting Friends & Relatives, Business travel and holiday visits increased by 3 per cent.
VisitEngland Chief Executive James Berresford commented: "This is a positive indication that this summer was a success for many businesses in England. I’m delighted to see such a substantial number of businesses reporting an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, which was a bumper year with visitor figures up 18%. The increase in repeat visits coupled with the decline in overseas trips by Brits points to a growing trend to holiday at home. The increase in international visitors goes to prove that England is competing well on the global stage as well as inspiring Brits to stay at home and discover a superb holiday destination on their doorstep.
Confidence in the sector remains high for the Autumn period with 83 per cent of businesses describing themselves as fairly or very confident about the coming months. A total of 501 interviews have been completed by telephone with business owners or managers between 31st August and 2ND September.