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The number of holiday trips in England increased year-on-year by 3%

VisitEngland announces six-month tourism figures

At the annual ABTA Travel Convention in Palma, Majorca, VisitEngland announced domestic tourism figures for January to June this year. The number of holiday trips in England increased year on year by 3 per cent, and tourism spend increased by 10 per cent. Although the number of trips taken is lower than in the exceptional “staycation” year of 2009, levels are still far ahead of pre-recession volumes, showing that Brits have not lost their appetite to holiday at home.

However, while these half year figures are very positive, VisitEngland stressed that they should be considered in the context of the double bank holiday and unusually warm weather earlier this year. Weakened consumer confidence and a disappointing Summer may have meant that many businesses have not performed as well as they had hoped over the key school holiday period.

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive James Berresford said: “We’ve had a good start to the year but we can’t ignore the fact that consumer confidence is down, while the increased spending levels we have seen are largely inflationary, and are not necessarily benefiting businesses whose operating costs are also rising.  We know that the trend to holiday at home is still popular but we have to work very hard to sustain this and ensure that Brits are inspired by the events of 2012 to choose England next year as their number one holiday destination.”

The Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, recently announced an additional £3m for VisitEngland to boost domestic tourism in 2012.  This money will support the delivery of an initial £10m marketing campaign which will break in January 2012 followed by TV advertising scheduled for March.

VisitEngland is also working to secure funding from the Regional Growth Fund on behalf of destinations throughout the country.  The bid is for £20m and will fund a three year project called, Growing Tourism Locally. Results from the bid are due out at the end of the month.

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