New research into the spending habits of holiday makers has been carried out by cottages4you, as part of its Championing Real Britain campaign. It is calling on people touring the nation this summer to support local, independent shops and tourist attractions. And with more than 117 million** holidays taken in our green and pleasant land last year, the potential to inject more money into rural economies has never been greater.
Visitors to self catering properties account for 5.72 million visits per year***. Nearly half (47 per cent) spend more than £50 per week in specialist food shops and over two thirds eat at local pubs and restaurants with a bill of £50 or more†.
To further support rural communities and the businesses within them, cottages4you is asking for holidaymakers to nominate their favourite holiday finds this summer. It is searching for those hidden local gems which have made peoples holidays truly memorable, whether it is a fishmonger who picks the best Cornish crab, a steamer company which organises the most memorable lake cruises or a farm shop which has a range of mouth-watering homemade preserves.
Visit www.cottages4you.co.uk to post your nomination. The recommendations will be compiled at the end of the summer to create a downloadable map showcasing the Best of Rural Britain, which will act as a guide for future holiday planning.
Martin Dunford, publisher of the Rough Guide to Britain and co-founder of Rough Guides said: “Britain has so much to offer, with a wealth of undiscovered places and hidden gems. This is a great opportunity for the British public to get involved by exploring their own back yard and championing the best that the country has to offer.”
Geoff Cowley, managing director of cottages4you added: “We want holidaymakers to support the rural enterprises in order to get a true taste of Britain and keep local economies alive.
“There is so much to discover right on our doorstep and the beauty of a cottage holiday is that it gives you the complete freedom to seek out and sample the very best local cuisine and attractions. Getting freshly baked bread from the bakers and having a pint in the family run local should be just as much a part of your trip as seeing new sights. In addition, as a result of the 10,000 cottages within the cottages4you portfolio, our research found that over 26,100 people in these communities are employed to support us, including cleaners, gardeners and handymen. ”
The cottages4you survey also asked holidaymakers about British food. While 60 per cent of us believe that trying traditional regional food is an important part of our heritage, it seems as a nation we struggle to identify the origins of dishes such as Fat Rascals (Yorkshire), black pudding (Bury, Lancashire) and jellied eels (East End, London). Only 45 per cent knew what a hotchpotch was (Scottish soup with mutton and vegetables) and 55 per cent didn’t know what a Scouse (Liverpudlian stew made from lamb or beef) was.
Martin Dunford of Rough Guides continued: “Local dishes are so unique to Britain and an often forgotten part of our cultural heritage. Travel is all about new experiences and trying local dishes so why not do it when holidaying at home?”