Its Official. Fewer of Us Went Abroad

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Did we really need the official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to tell us that fewer of us holidayed abroad this summer?  Up until the end of September we took 14% fewer holidays abroad than 2008.  It may not seem a lot but that equates to 9.8 million fewer visits. (A visit can be a day trip to Dublin or Calais as well as a holiday or a short break). But if you look at the figures for the main three months between July and September overseas visits dropped by just 1% and that, I think, is the key result. In the main holiday period, the number of us going abroad hardly altered.

What we have cut down on are trips outside the main holiday season. Where we might have taken a short break or a winter holiday and a summer one we have decided not to. Or we have decided to take the break in the UK.   

So if holidays abroad stayed broadly similar where did this increase in those holidaying at home come from? It can’t be made up of just that 1%. It is beginning to look like the total holiday market expanded. Can that be right? Can it be that in the worst economic downturn in fifty years we holidayed more? It seems to be the answer, unless of course the ONS figures are wrong. But, of course, official figures never are.

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