It’s been reported recently that many more people in the United Kingdom are looking to holiday much closer to home with UK holiday specialists reporting a huge surge in bookings made last minute and holiday goers choosing not to travel further than 2 hours from their homes on average. Traditional seaside resorts such as Scarborough have seen a large increase in visitors over the past few years.
With the sharp rise in fuel prices in recent times, coupled with the tropical bouts of weather Britain is currently enjoying, holiday goers are wanting to save money by staying in Britain, booking closer to the last minute due to the surprising weather and not driving too far from home according to panelists from a recent Travel Weekly magazine domestic holiday debate.
At the debate was the Hoseasons operating director Pali Badwal who said: ‘We are seeing reduced lead-in times for bookings probably because of the good weather. We are getting a bookings surge close to departure.’
‘Agents should be promoting breaks closer to home because customers don’t want to go farther than an hour and a half’s drive because of petrol prices.’
Due to the circumstances, the rail networks are also seeing improved sales, with holiday goers who would usually drive choosing rail as an alternate, doubling the percentage of customers booking rail breaks.
The circumstances, although limiting to the holiday goers and what they can afford, are inadvertently boosting the domestic sector due to a reduced capacity overseas for package holidays in coherence with great value domestic package holidays being on average £100-£200 cheaper than their overseas counterparts.
Allan Lambert, head of retail at Bourne Leisure said the following about strapped for cash holiday goers: ‘We have still got opportunities for the family market this summer as bookings are a lot later. Consumers are spending more time making sure it’s the right decision. If they think they are spending well, they will commit straightaway.’
So due to current factors, from the economic downturn to the rise in petrol prices and tropical weather we are currently experiencing, it seems many more Brits will be looking to stay closer to home when it comes to their holiday.
Another industry to heavily benefit from the increase in Brits holidaying at home is the coach industry. Like rail travel, coach travel has also increased heavily with some holiday goers choosing to coach for much cheaper prices to their destinations to further save on fuel costs. People are looking more to package holidays at home that include coach travel to keep their costs to a minimum, visiting favourites like the Lake District, Scottish Highlands and other good value alternatives.
So although the regular holiday goer may be missing out on their two weeks in Spain, it looks like the travel and tourism industry in Britain is receiving a great boost to its revenue – with people reluctant to splash the cash on foreign holidays this year it gives them a chance to visit the beauty of Britain and its abundance of wonderful destinations that can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to choosing a holiday.