Responding to the latest provisional International Passenger Survey* findings, which reveal that Brits took 16% fewer overseas trips in the first four months of the year compared to 2008, Alan Taylor, Managing Director of Blue Chip Vacations, the South West’s leading luxury self-catering holiday property business, said:
“The fall in overseas travel is having a positive effect on UK tourist-related businesses that are able to provide high-quality experiences at competitive prices. “To date this year we have seen a healthy 60% rise in bookings across our Cornish, Devon and Somerset properties, and in the last 30 days alone we have seen bookings rise by an impressive 109%. This is in no small part due to the fact that UK travellers are increasingly looking for better value trips at home.
“Our latest research, conducted on 25 June 2009, backs up this fact demonstrating that luxury stays in the West Country continue to represent excellent value. Once travel costs, taxes, airport parking and car hire are taken into account, a week spent in comparable properties can cost well over twice as much in Europe as they do in the West Country. And that’s before the cost of living on the Continent is taken into account, which given the relative weakness of the pound, is now significantly more expensive than it has been in the past!
“Given these facts, it’s no great surprise that more Brits are choosing to upgrade to luxury self-catering accommodation in the South West of England for significantly less than they would spend on an equivalent overseas trip. Combined with the great weather that we’ve experienced so far this year, a long-term weather outlook which is predicted to include spells with temperatures over 30 degrees, and a great selection of stunning new properties, many of which are still available and have special offers, we anticipate a continued upward trend in bookings this season.
“And the good news is not just limited to UK visitors, as to date this year bookings from overseas travellers have increased by a massive 97%, aided in no small part by the continuing favourable foreign exchange rates. Over 40% of these visitors come from Germany, followed by Ireland, Canada and the US, who together account for a further 30% of our overseas bookings.
“Together, these figures show that there’s a real renaissance in the popularity of luxury South West self-catering stays. We firmly believe that the combination of great weather, fantastic food, inspiring events and venues in the region will encourage repeat business for many years to come.”