A leading travel expert is urging UK tourism businesses to react quickly to attract Britpacking holiday makers, as the latest Office of National Statistics report shows overseas tourism is still suffering in the recession.
With visits abroad by UK residents falling by 6 per cent in the 12 month period to January 2011, and looming airport strikes on the horizon, Julian Ross from iknow-uk is calling on tourism and hospitality business owners across the UK to step-up their efforts to persuade people that a home-grown holiday is best.
He said: “Whilst these latest figures are obviously bad news for the overseas travel market, they are certainly good news for the thousands of hoteliers, B&B owners and attraction organisers that work hard here in the UK.
“This increase in people choosing to stay at home at Easter and into the summer represents a real opportunity for UK-based businesses as people look for alternatives to the overseas holiday.
“Add to that the uncertainty around airport worker strikes and it’s easy to see why people are looking closer to home for their hard-earned break.
“It’s really important, however, that for the sake of the UK economy our home-grown tourism businesses react quickly and effectively – they need to ensure people Britpacking for the first time in years are reminded about why a UK-based holiday is so great.
“We have amazing coastline, outstanding countryside and fabulous villages, towns and cities right on our doorstep and tourism businesses need to be offering consumers interesting packages and great value deals right now.
“Attracting holidaymakers to stay closer to home this year will have a real impact on our UK tourism economy.
“We’ve lots to shout about in the coming months and years, with the Royal Wedding and Olympics just around the corner, and showing people what a great time they can have this year means that they might just stay nearer home once the recession lifts too!”
iknow-uk’s websites cover Britain’s most popular tourist regions and are visited by more than a million users each month.