Many Brits are shunning holidays abroad this summer because of tour operator problems, flight upsets and the Eurozone’s debt crisis.
According to research from motoring and leisure association CSMA club, UK tourism is experiencing a boom in the numbers of Brits choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays. One in four holidaymakers (23%) are taking more UK breaks this year than last year, and a third (33%) will be spending this year’s main holiday on home soil.
For many, the current financial instability in Europe (11%) and the risk of a repeat of the ash cloud problems (6%) has deterred them from taking a break abroad. A further one in fifteen (7%) are put off because of the ongoing threat of airline strikes. But finances remain the key factor in keeping many UK holidaymakers on home turf, with one in four (25%) staying in the UK in order to keep a close eye on the money.
The CSMA research findings reveal that the average family will spend just over £980 on a summer holiday within the UK, with Scotland, the Lake District, Devon and Snowdonia set to be the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in ‘staycation’ tourism.
Greece tops the list of countries being shunned by UK holidaymakers, with one in ten (13%) planning to avoid the country amid fears over financial instability. Iceland (9%), Turkey (7%) and Russia (7%) and Romania (5%) made up the rest of the top five places that UK tourists are avoiding this summer while many holidaymakers will also be staying away from France (4%) and Spain (4%).
The news comes as recent data shows that the number of people travelling abroad last year(1) fell more steeply than ever before.
CSMA club has compiled a list of alternative venues for families preferring to take their holiday in the UK.
1. Head to Falmouth in Cornwall instead of the Greek Islands – for clear blue waters, fresh fish and great sailing.
2. If you’re thinking of heading to the Dordogne, try the Cotswolds - both have picturesque limestone cottages, scenic villages, rolling hills, and a local wine industry.
3. Consider Devon instead of Northern Spain for walking holidays amidst beautiful countryside with lots of friendly places to stay.
4. Visit Southend-on-Sea instead of Costa del Sol – both busy, family friendly sea-side resorts.
5. Try Manchester if you fancy somewhere like Barcelona – both have a vibrant party scene, and are home to artists and museums.
6. Choose the historic city of York if you’re avoiding Rome – to enjoy its Roman ruins and religious history as the home of the Archbishop of York.
7. Pick the Gower Peninsula if you like the Algarve – they both have wide beaches, greenery and spectacular scenery.
One of the benefits of CSMA club membership is access to the organisation’s holiday retreats across the UK at significantly reduced rates. With UK holidays increasingly popular, CSMA Club has recently opened two new leisure retreats in the West Country. The retreats are Treworrgie Barton in North Cornwall and Manleigh Park near Combe Martin in North Devon. These new destination compliment the existing range which includes a country manor house in Sussex, cottages in the Cotswolds, and log cabins in the Forest of Dean.
Mark Rothery, CSMA club chief executive said: “This is great news for the UK tourist industry, which looks set to enjoy a bumper year. This summer we expect more British holidaymakers to opt for the beauty on their own doorstep – and the huge breadth and variation in scenery across the British Isles – rather than going abroad. We’d encourage any families making their holiday plans to seriously consider the many ideal destinations in the UK, to make the most of everything that this country has to offer.”
CSMA club was founded in 1923. Since then it has been providing its members with a wide range of motoring and leisure benefits, such as discounted breakdown and car insurance, as well as exclusive access to leisure events and holiday homes.